Thursday, July 13, 2017
Pure Joy, Sheer Pleasure
My little friends want to do a lot of adult stuff, really rushing to grow up. I can’t blame them; I was the same when I was their age, building a fire under a thatched roof house and pretending to cook vegetables (shredded leaves) in a big seashell balanced on three rocks. Imagine the shock of my grandmother? I got a painful pinching afterwards, not really comprehending how I could burn the house down (as she had said) with my teeny-weeny fire! Not even sure how she found out after I had returned the box of matches exactly the way I found it on the highest ledge in the kitchen, scattered my tools in the garden, and buried the embers in the sand. I thought she must have a photographic memory, a super-sensitive nose, and Superman’s x-ray vision!
So as I pulled dandelions with Fiskars Weed Puller, which looks like a scooter to the kids, the kids stopped looking for bugs in the garden and came over.
Child: That looks like a scooter! Why are you pulling the dandelions?
Me: Because they’re weeds. They’re not good plants here.
Child: Why are they not good? They’re beautiful.
Me: Yes, they’re beautiful, and I use to gather them, too, when I was a child. But they’re invasive.
Child: What does invasive mean?
Me: It means they spread too much and take the space of good plants, which is not nice. The good plants won’t have space to grow. They also spread a lot because you blow their seeds, right? But that’s okay, I used to do that when I was a kid, too, because it’s fun.
Child: Can we help?
Me: Dunno how you can because this is hard, and it’s got sharp claws to grab the whole thing including the roots so it doesn’t grow again in spring.
Child watched as I stuck the claws into the ground, on top of a dandelion. I pressed the extension down the ground with my foot. She could hear the crunchy sound of lawn grass, dandelion leaves and roots being grabbed by the claws. I pulled the weeder and voila! The whole package was out.
Me: Yup! There’s your dandelion all right. And what are these?
Child: The roots! Now there’s a hole in the ground. We can play golf!
Child started helping by stepping on the weeder and enjoying herself as I swung the tool to and fro before pulling. She then ejected the weed into a bucket and took the bucket to where I had dumped weeds the previous days. Her little brother had his turn, and everyone forgot about bug hunting. Jamison/07/13/2017