Thursday, August 25, 2011


I pulled weeds in my yard today that were taller than my two-year-old. I’m not exaggerating. And by the time I returned to my air-conditioned sanctuary, I needed the rough side of the sponge to scrub my fingers free of dirt. And not even a fifth of the yard is weeded – and that meager portion was weeded not at all to my usual standard. Ugh!

In my family, my husband takes care of some traditionally feminine responsibilities (washing clothes, cooking at times, rearranging the dishwasher), and I handle a couple of the assignments that perhaps are more masculine. Like weeding. My husband abhors weeding, so the task is left to me, an unspoken delegation. But my life is crazy at times, and I’d rather be living (enjoying the kids, writing, reading, doing practically anything other than weeding) – so this summer the weeds were left to flourish. Finally, as often happens with me, the straw breaks my back, and I’m on a roll of reformation! This week, our entire yard will be weeded. I’ve divided the backyard into quadrants and delegated different areas to specific days.

I’m always amazed (today as well) at how quickly the weeds grow, at the fleshy green mass they acquire during just a few months – while the gardenia my husband tried to root in early spring still looks like less than a twig, four flimsy leaves as small as my pinkie fingernail flagging sunward.

Perhaps there’s some deep analogy I could draw here. Gardenias are to x as weeds are to y. But my back is too sore; my fingers, despite their scrubbing, still sticky. And a shower beckons. So perhaps you can give me the x and y. Would you?

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