Weeds Are Just a Different Plant

There’s an isolated patch of grass on the side of our house. I can see it from my bedroom window. Yesterday morning, I looked down without glasses, and I spotted three blurry yet distinct areas: one dark, lush green, one bright, almost neon, and what seemed to be the outline of five salad-colored propellers.

After I regained my vision, the puzzle pieces took shape: Only a third of the surface was covered in proper grass. Another third was moss, and the propellers? A quickly spreading group of weeds.

For a moment, I was sad our little patch of nature seemed to be succumbing to a common domestic invader, but then I realized: Weeds are just a different plant. We aren’t trading forest for plastic. We’re witnessing nature evolve.

If left entirely to its own devices, would the plot soon be covered in weeds? Maybe. Or maybe not. Perhaps the moss is stronger in winter. What if it holds off the weeds until spring, when the grass is back in full bloom? And if the weeds took over, that might be a win too. May the best-suited plant for the soil win! It might even look beautiful. A large display of differently sized propellers.

We spend a great deal of time worrying about changes we can not only barely control but which are, on closer inspection, not such big changes at all. So your favorite pants are full of holes, and your new ones won’t look the same. That’s nothing to mope about. Neither is your shifting bus schedule or switching coffee brands at work. All life is part of nature, and nature is constant change.

Some change must be fought, some fought hard for to bring it about in the right way. Reserve your energy for those big transformations. When a beloved coworker is leaving or your landlord wants to kick you out, those are times to speak up.

Your garden, on the other hand, shifts a tiny bit beneath your feet every day. Sit back and enjoy the show. Weeds are just a different plant, and most change only deserves our observation, not our interference.