Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Wendell Wednesday: May Song and Weeds

Good afternoon, and
Welcome back for Wendell Wednesday!
 
This poem excerpt is from "May Song", which I found especially
apropos to think about while my own garden struggles with the weeds
I can no longer do battle with.  I do not use Round-up, but weed selectively,
taking all but a few kinds of native groundwort that are making a nice groundcover between my raised beds.  It is drought-tolerant and doesn't send up ugly seed stalks or sprawl in a disorderly way.
If mother nature is willing to help me green up the walkways,
I'm all for letting her.

In some of his other writings Berry muses on the importance of the law of the Sabbath, which the children of Israel were commanded to keep not only for themselves but also with respect to their land.  Every seven years, the land was to be given a chance to rest.  The farmer had to restrain himself, see nature and the so-called "weeds" take over for awhile.  He needed to marvel at the wonder of life and creation, that his part is so small compared with the eternal scheme.
Gardeners have for centuries fought this, and weeds become the symbol of our mastery or not, to some extent or another.  But looking at them for what they are, enjoy Berry's poetry and think a little on it yourself next time you grasp a wild geranium or dandelion at the base.  I won't say don't pluck it out of a disallowed place.  But I will say think.  Think about every aspect of what you do.
 

 
 
 
from "May Song" by Wendell Berry
 
For whatever is let go
there's a taker.
The living discovers itself

where no preparation
was made for it,
where its only privilege

is to live if it can.
The window flies from the dark
of the subway mouth

into the sunlight
stained with the green
of the spring weeds

that crown the improbable
black earth
of the embankment...

...seeing it send out weeds
to take back
whatever is left:

Proprietor, pasturing foliage
on the rubble,
making use

of the useless--a beauty
we have less than not
deserved.
 
 
 
 
 
Join me next week, and in the meantime...
 
Be well, and enjoy the sunshine!
 --Kathryn