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Undesirables

—June 8, 2021

Trample and poison the underfoot.

Those whose behavior or appearance deems them unacceptable: Hitler called them “Untermensch”.

What makes a weed, a “weed”? Wikipedia says it “is a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation, ‘a plant in the wrong place’.” Weeds have a bad rep.

History helps. The word “weed” came from various Old English, Old Saxon, East Frisian, and Proto-Germanic words like “uueod” and “wiod”. These were grasses, herbs, and trees that grow abundantly. Abundance: familiarity breeds contempt.

The “W” word is a slur: weeds are plants, too. Some attract beneficial insects, some repel harmful insects. Some are food (broccoli, tomatoes, grapes, radishes, legumes, mints); some are medicine: “♪ no stems, no seeds that you don’t need… ♪”.

Weeds are among the first plants up on a wildfire’s scorched earth. Weeds have stamina. Weeds thrive on our CO2 rack and ruin. Weeds are here to stay: they stand their ground, trial by fire and in for the long haul.

So claw to unearth a dandelion; and once, think of a child who blew and watched a cloud of white parasols drift in the breeze.

The only good weed is a weed that’s dead? Think about where you squirt Round-up. A weed may be somebody’s mother.

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