What do you see, weeds or plants?

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.

A A Milne

A day after the lockdown period, I was sitting and watching the garden from my balcony. For a long time, no one worked in that garden but suddenly found that people were removing the plants from there. I did not understand why are they pulling out the plants that were soothing me during the dreaded quarantine days. While I was watching from the top, the whole green area turned into a bare brown patch. The plants with lush green leaves and tiny flowers became lifeless while thrown into the garbage truck.

The next day I saw the gardeners unloading the tiles of the green lawn. It occurred to me that all those plants got removed because they were weeds! How do we decide which are weeds? Those plants with beautiful tiny flowers had meaningful existence. They supported innumerable insects and worms. Added beauty to the place with green foliage and flowers. More, they sustained without any assistance from gardeners. Those so-called weeds lived and blossomed with rainwater and decorated the land with their mere presence. But when they decided to beautify the garden with a lawn that requires plenty of care, these little plants need to give away their place/life due to others’ perception of them as weeds!

Mr. Milne mentions it beautifully in the quote, Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them. One needs to be open to seeing things from other views to appreciate the beauty of the little flowers or leaves/grass blades.

The lawn grass in a paddy field would become a weed. If some rice plants are grown in a flowerpot, you may remove them like a weed. We term anything we do not require at that place and time as weeds and pull them away. It’s our perceptions of the situation that decides which plants are weeds!

By the time I finished my work and came out to the balcony with a cup of coffee, I could see the neatly laid lawn tiles that were getting sprinkled with water to grow faster and greener. It’s a matter of days. I would enjoy the sight of a beautifully manicured lawn there.

It’s the human way to fiddle with nature. We remove what exists naturally and plant what we like. We cut down the trees and then cry out to plant trees. We kill the animals for fun, to get meat, skin, etc., and later create slogans to save animals. Pollute the planet and fight to reduce the impact… at the end of the day, we are humans!

—Anitha KC

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