Sometimes in the lush, late summer lawn of life, you find yourself with a huge swath of thistles. Maybe it’s because your neighbor has let his thistle plants go to seed and the wind carries the seeds right through the chain link and onto your lawn. Or maybe the thistle has been there all along, you just hadn’t noticed it until you stepped right on one. I think I know where my thistle came from- but in the end it doesn’t really matter WHERE it came from-it only matters that it DID come. It thistled up my lawn, messed up my groove and got my attention. So, here are my thoughts on thistle- enjoy.
The rain in our valley has been good this summer, and from what I hear, rain- especially rain enriched with the power of lightning, is the best thing this world has to offer plants. It makes them grow like crazy! If you want to investigate the incredible phenomenon of of lightning fertilizer, read this cool article.
Back to my lawn. It’s amazing, thriving and looks, to the untrained eye, like a heavenly park. Because of the steady stream of thunderstorms over the past month or so, we haven’t needed to use our sprinklers in weeks. The plant life in our valley is clearly thrilled, water bills all over town are noticeably low and our townie deer look especially well fed. It’s actually pretty awesome. We have fully embraced this glorious season! We are relishing in the final days of sandal weather and backyard play. But these thistles- they are ruining my carefree late summer attitude.
It has become apparent that these devilish little plants have no intention of shirking off on their own, so I have taken it upon myself to spend time pulling these suckers up. Armed with my totally radical crockenstocks (they are “water friendly” birkenstocks that are made with a crocs style of rubber- I have them in blue AND in purple- and I love them), some tunes, some pliers and a bucket, I have gone to town on these jerk plants!
The best is when you get them by the roots, but that doesn’t always happen. The worst is when you accidentally touch one with your bare skin- because it hurts immediately and lasts for longer than it should be allowed to. While helping me this evening, Daphne asked why nature made thistles. I told her it was to make us work to enjoy walking barefoot, and to remind us to look down where we are stepping. I also told her that thistle is really quite beautiful, just not in our grass. It makes sense to me… life and nature work together to build in lessons. She just said “Oh.”
It doesn’t always come easy, does it? “It” being any number of things in life… I didn’t necessarily want to pull spiky weeds all evening in order to have a thistle free lawn, but I did it, and I actually really enjoyed it. I’ll do it again to- I haven’t gotten them all yet. With the right music and the right approach, though, I can appreciate the time spent with pliers in my hand, reflecting on the lessons of life, pulling thistle from the lawn so my children and I can walk barefoot through the yard.
It’s raining right now, I watched the clouds roll in and heard the thunder… this rain is good. This rain is nourishing. This rain benefits every living thing in it’s path- the deer, the sunflowers, the grass, trees, fish, birds, bears, the crops, the cows and, yes, the thistle. For all of these things (dare I say?), especially the thistle, I am grateful.
What life lessons have you learned lately?
Thank you for stopping in and have a beautiful evening.