It was an unexpectedly warm afternoon yesterday, almost summery. I’d been at home taking care of a feverish Tim all day, interspersing my writing assignments with Motrin doses and beverage refills for him, but when Rick arrived home early, I realized there was still a little time for me to get out into the sunshine, so I rode my bike to the post office. It’s a lovely ride from our new address: an easy fifteen-minute glide, and being on my bike again made me feel like spring was already segueing into summer.
Then as I was leaving the post office, I looked down at the ground and saw an even more promising sign of spring: a clump of weeds. Delighted, I bent over and started plucking them out of the ground.
I love weeding. It’s my favorite outdoor-maintenance activity, though admittedly that’s a small category in which to hold a title. I just find it so satisfying to pull weeds out of the earth. It’s so quantitative. You can track your own success so easily, at least for a day or so. Then they start to grow back, and you can do it all over again. Sisyphan, true, but also so much more measurable than so many of the tasks I try to accomplish every day.
And it’s gotten to the point where I weed wherever I am: my own yard, public spaces, other people’s front walks. I just really like the feeling of the tiny plants being disengaged at the root. So with warm weather and summer hovering on the horizon, and a damp rainy spring behind us, I’m looking forward to lots more weeding. I wouldn’t call it a talent so much as a passion. I don’t even care that much what the lawn or garden looks like after it’s weeded: I just like getting rid of the weeds. Perhaps it reminds me of editing a little bit, or de-cluttering the house: all the various ways I eliminate those pieces not deemed essential. Except that in weeding, unlike editing or decluttering, you can actually reach an end point.
So I’ll keep seeking out weeds as the days grow longer and the temperatures climb. My fingers become dirty but my mind grows ever clearer as I remove impediments, one tiny shoot at a time.