Ferns

Some people are weeds.  Their flowers are peculiar, but always in some small, quirky way.  They have tough stems, spiny leaves, and are generally despised by all right-thinking folk.

But they’re awfully hard to get rid of, and they flourish in rough places, spreading like wildfire where your average personality has no desire to ever be caught.  But they are easily outshone and overshadowed by more peaceful sorts, which grow quickly, use lots of water, and have great big flowers and edible fruit.

Some people are hothouse orchids.  Their blooms are the stuff of legend.  Their leaves are works of art.  Even their stems are beautiful, a delight to the eye.  But they are the ultimate in fragility.  They could not survive without others to take care of them and their day-to-day concerns, and would, in any instance of crisis, be dead and gone by the time anybody managed to come back around to check on the damage.  They are the ultimate in dedication to something far out of the mainstream, like the artists, engineers, or high-level business execs who are so devoted to the fruition of their will that they cannot even think of wasting their time having children… their immortality will be measured in some other, hopelessly intangible effect on those who come after them.

I’m having some trouble figuring out how to categorize everything in the middle.  Put into the kingdom of the plants, I think I’m a fern:  I don’t need a whole lot of maintenance, but I like it in the shade.

And I get nibbled by Bunnies.

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5 Comments

  1. Alex

     /  August 22, 2007

    My next door neighbor in Michigan was a horticulturist and I asked him once what makes a weed a weed. His response was: “It’s a plant you or someone else doesn’t want. Those plants which have adapted so well to thrive in a difficult environment become weeds when you take them out of it and put them in a place where they don’t belong.” He promptly ripped a plant out of my garden and showed me an example of an invasive species that is treated like a weed because of how it spreads out and takes over everything.

    So I agree with your analogy, except that people are only weeds when no one wants them around. Everything in the middle which has a role to play but doesn’t seem like something that stands out are the trees, grasses, bushes, and even the perceived weeds that are everywhere. Categorizing them is a subjective excercise.

    Yes I know I’m taking your philosophical musings perhaps too seriously, but it’s what I do. I’m not aware of a plant that overthinks things, but I can imagine some plants that overdo it. So I’m either Kudzu or Asparagus.

    Reply
  2. Asparagus, Alex. Be asparagus, that’s just funnier than kudzu.
    As for the definition of a weed, really?
    “Corn in a wheatfield.”

    Reply
  3. Steph

     /  August 22, 2007

    Corn in a wheatfield. I totally get that :)

    Reply
  4. alex

     /  August 23, 2007

    Asparagus it is. To quote Gary Larson:
    “I cuss, you cuss, we all cuss for Asparagus”

    Reply
  5. Don’t forget, Steph, we need directions for this weekend…

    Reply

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