I’ve spent a lot of time pulling weeds.
Starting with the most common ones—Creeping Charlie taking over the whole backyard when I first moved in with Dave, grass growing in garden beds, plantain, dandelions, and here in Minnesota, those purple bellflowers that seem to spread everywhere…
Other weeds that have caught my attention include all the ways my Enneagram type One personality judges that I (or others) need weeding. Over the years, I’ve dug out my messy emotions, pulled up my gut instincts, rooted out my raw and uncontrollable sexuality, and excavated all the wild impulses that might lead me astray.
“Got a dirty eye, see a dirty world.”
~ Mark Nepo, in The Book of Awakening
I think we all have dirty eyes—in the sense that our vision is clouded from seeing life as it is. Perhaps it’s Enneagram type that clouds, or maybe it’s family upbringing, or maybe it’s trauma, or our culture or religion…and most likely a combination of all of the above.
This clouding keeps us stuck in one way of seeing.
But what if that plant, instead of being a weed, is Wild Nourishment?
Over the years, as I started realizing there was such a thing as wild nourishment…
I dug up the dandelion from my yard, ate some, and transplanted the rest into its own bed in my backyard. I enjoy eating it all summer, but especially when it’s tender in the spring (now!).
I pulled out the plantain and dried it for use in tea and herbal salves. (Internally for indigestion, externally for skin ailments.)
The grass spreading into flower and veggie gardens I still weed out—and the Creeping Charlie, too!
I gave up on weeding out the purple bellflowers—I still manage them in some places, but in others, I let them be a lovely, green ground cover, and on our front stairs, their purple bell flower welcomes people to our home. (Dave’s youngest helped me get this—I was madly ripping them out one summer when he said how he missed the greenery and flowers on the bare concrete stairs, and I realized I did, too. It has saved me a lot of work over the years!)
And my own inner weeding?
I am finding the gifts of wild nourishment of my fuller self—
How my unedited emotions, my instinctual-knowing, my juicy sexuality, and my spontaneous impulses don’t lead me astray, but nourish and bring more wholeness to my life.
I feel more alive, more embodied, more present on this earth when I embrace all of me in this way.
How about you?
Are there ways you see through dirty eyes and try to weed out parts of yourself that are unacceptable? Or the world around you? How could those parts you are pulling out be important to your growth into the fully alive human being you are?