Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pulling weeds

I make a lousy gardener. I hate to pull weeds or volunteer weed like plants.
I always have hopes that the weeds will turn into something. 

In sixth grade, we were living in India. My brother and I attended an International school - emphasis on International. 
Every Friday was spent not in the classroom, but in an international experience. The 3rd Friday of every month, Ravi Shankar came to our auditorium and performed, teaching us the fine sounds of a sitar. On the 2nd and 4th Fridays, students were encouraged to bring a piece of their culture to class. We'd stand up and talk about our heritage, holidays, customs, clothing.

And on the first Friday of each month, our grade took a field trip to a museum, to a tomb, to the government offices or some other iconic structure. One Friday, my favorite trip of all, we traveled to an orphanage run by Mother Teresa. I was in for my first lesson on weeds. 
 The orphanage was crowded with children. Most were girls, many were infants. Some had imperfections, some were truly parentless, and others were just "one child too many" for the family. All were clean, simply dressed, shy, and feeling imperfect. 
Our Indian teacher explained to us why these children were 'orphans'. "They are weeds. No one wants them. They were plucked, discarded."


I knew these children were beautiful. I knew they weren't 'weeds'; they were still alive. They were capable of blossoming. They couldn't be tossed away as long as Mother Teresa had them. 

They were darn beautiful. Just like my weeds...

7 comments:

Banjo52 said...

I've never understood the rip on weeds, starting with dandelions and working on up. To me, Queen Anne's lace and all those purples and golds along roadsides are a lot more stirring than geometrical, groomed gardens.

Elaine said...

Your photos are beautiful! How sad to think of those poor children being thought of as weeds.

Kathy said...

I always like to think of weeds as flowers in their everyday clothes!

Snapper II said...

I always enjoy your blogs. These flowers are beautiful. But your words are POWERFUL and thought provoking. A lesson for Me. My wife and I love children of all kinds. I am 70 now and I am always brought to smiles by the simple innocence of children.

altadenahiker said...

A very touching story.

Thérèse said...

Beautiful words!
Weed is luckily only a word and we can choose the meaning we want to give to it...

Pat Tillett said...

Beautiful photos and words Brenda!
I've seen Ravi Shankar perform a couple of times. I'm TOTALLY sure it was under different circumstances....