Tuesday, August 6, 2019


I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, 
on Tuesdays.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

I'm out front, weeding, underneath the azaleas. My goal is to eradicate every last remnant of a pesty vine I call bindweed or common morning glory...I'm not quite sure of its name, I simply know its nature. It very cleverly blends into the branches of my azaleas and the stalks of my purple coneflower and black eyed susans, winding itself all around these in a type of chokehold, growing and weaving its way to the top. It is what I call a copycat plant, in that you often miss it, if you simply glance at your flowers...it is stealth, with similar leaves, and entangled within and around its host. Beneath the soil, it has a multitude of runners, allowing it to spread out and sidle up and through almost every plant in my garden. Shoots of this vine will climb along a neighboring stalk and then bend towards each other at the top of the plants, interlocking vine and leaves with one another, forming almost a rope 'hat' at the top of the plants. When the weed has escaped my eye just long enough to settle in, it blossoms with a a bright, white flower - as if to jeer, "Ta da! Look at me! You have neglected your garden! Ha ha!"

It does no good to simply peel off the flowering vines from the tops of the plants - though I admit it is highly pleasurable to grab the mass from above and yank. If I want to get rid of the bindweed, I have to get underneath, to where the vine emerges from the ground...I need to find every chute and dig these up by the roots. I find it is best for me to be down low, on my knees, peering up into the branches, watching for chutes that have climbed up from the soil. It is slow and patient work.

Try as I might, I always miss some. I'll finish for the day, put away my tools, go inside and get cleaned up, step back outside with a cup of iced tea, and my eyes are drawn right back to the blemish - AACK! There's another one of those dang weeds! I swear, bindweed regrows within the hour.

I think how this yard work is a metaphor for our world, where vicious weeds like racism and hate and bullying and misogyny and white supremacy pop up and then reach towards one another, becoming intertwined, and, in this way, much stronger. We cannot ignore these, we cannot make superficial or temporary fixes. The only way to eradicate them is to get to the roots, which means we must be caring, determined, and focused in multiple places simultaneously. We must toil. We must get to know one another, to connect, to be good neighbors. We must give lots of love and attention to that which we treasure, and ensure that it is safe and nourished. We must teach our children well. We must realize our work is never, ever done.


  1. First, I have never heard it called bindweed but that is the PERFECT name for it. I knew exactly what you were talking about. Second, the metaphor you create is apt. We must be ever vigilant if we are to eradicate racism, misogyny and hatred of all types. I'll be thinking of this the next time I'm out weeding.

  2. This post is perfect. I completely agree with you. We cannot give up even when the weeds inevitably try to make their return. We need to keep at it, do the work, and dig deeper. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. I love this garden metaphor and think about how Shakespeare weaves images of plants throughout his plays to illuminate our understanding of the "invasive species" in our world. We're consumed by growths that choke off the foundation of our nation at this moment in time, and we must treat the root causes and not just the symptoms.