climbing up weeds

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, Artistic Endeavors52 Comments

Walking has become one of my best tools for generating ideas.  In the past, I sort of felt like walking was an alternative to “real exercise”, but since I’m still limited by my shoulder (I’m still doing PT), walking has been what I can reliably do.  And I’ve seen and felt the benefits of it beyond just weight loss and increased energy.  That time is spent learning, thinking, and just being open to new ideas.  It’s become a hybrid task that bridges personal and professional perks.

So, while I was walking yesterday, on a path I have walked hundreds of times before, I noticed a small floral vine creeping up an obnoxious weed.

I observed it for a minute while Sebastian was sniffing around and then we kept walking.  After a few steps, I turned back around for a closer look.  I tromped through the tall weeds, confusing Sebastian, and pondered this little vine and the weed that was involuntarily assisting it and a beautiful analogy started to take shape in my mind.

We all have weeds…  things that pop up and grow.  Things we didn’t invite.  They are unsightly, prickly, they spread, and they don’t follow our plan. But, the only way this delicate flowering vine could grow vertically, was to embrace this weed.  It used the weeds strength, structure, and height to climb towards the light.

There were other flowering vines that hadn’t found that structure and they could only grow horizontally where they would be easily trampled and shaded simply by long blades of grass.  They were literally “in the weeds”.

The weed-like things that pop up in our personal lives, our creativity, and our business, might be unwanted, messy, and out of control.  But it’s those things that can provide the structure in which to grow, to reach new heights.  We can be overshadowed by them or we can use them to become better, stronger, to thrive, and to even be seen more clearly by others.

Isn’t nature amazing?

While marching through the hip-high weeds, admiring a sliver of nature off a suburban walking path, I also collected some bits and pieces to sketch, paint, and use as inspiration.  Weeds are not the only thing creativity can climb on…

climbing up weeds

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52 Comments on “climbing up weeds”

  1. I really enjoyed this post. About a year ago I was walking my dog through a neighborhood on a route I regularly take, and I saw something that intrigued me in a similar way. It was a branch of a pomegranate tree that had grown through the gap between the planks of a wood fence. At the end of the short branch was a small red pomegranate. I snapped a picture and sent it to my daughter, who was going through a bit of a hard time. I included the caption, “Sometimes our way is not God’s way”. It is important to listen to those small voices with inspiring thoughts. You can only hear them when we are quiet ourselves. Keep up the great work!

  2. I have to chuckle at this “delicate flowering vine” you found, I believe it to be what is called “bind weed” possibly a more invasive and obnoxious weed than the one it was climbing.–Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. (smile)

    1. I had to chuckle too (in Oregon we call it morning glory and it is so dang hard to get rid of) – but a wonderful concept and post that I enjoyed reading!! 🙂

      1. Darcy, I’m also in Oregon and the grass on the back of our property is drowning in morning glory inspiration! 😉

      2. Seattle here! Bind weed is everywhere and it is ‘high season’ for it. Thanks to a slob neighbor it’s along my fence now too. I love it and hate it. When it blooms I just think it’s pretty…until it takes over. It’s the only plant I know that is stimulated by digging it up by it’s roots. I think it’s a lilies of the field situation.

        1. Indiana here and this weed is the bane of my gardening life and I never even knew it’s name. Glad to learn more about it, thanks ladies. I just wish someone here knew how to get rid of it!

      1. I’m originally from Michigan and as a kid picked hige Queen Anne’s Lace bouquets for my mother. When we moved to Seattle in 1980 there was no QAL. One year I was visiting Michigan in the fall and came back with several QAL seed heads which I scattered in our garden, along fence rows and road sides. My fellow Midwestern transplants must have done the same because it is everywhere here now. A beautiful welcome plant.

    2. Bindweed has roots that go 20 feet deep, so it is virtually impossible to get rid of. It seems to be in massive abundance this year, everywhere. It sure is pretty when in bloom but it chokes out and kills many other plants. It is nice to enjoy it growing in the wild but keep pulling it if you see it in your garden! Pesticides cannot kill it either, due to the deep roots, so don’t even bother with that method of riddance.

    3. I too had a good laugh. We’ve been trying to get rid of one stubborn bind weed plant for two or three years, now. It’s growing though a crack between two strips of cement curbing.. And while it may be a member of the morning glory family, morning glories are at least pretty.

  3. I want to quickly add, however, that I agree that they are delicate looking, and pretty, in spite of their behavior.

  4. Cool read. Tip, don’t use portrait mode on all photos. the blur gets objects it shouldn’t.
    Take a look at the thistle (I think?) in the middle on the last photo. And the lavender in the photo above.

    1. I’m actually not shooting on a iPhone, but with a DSLR, so it’s focused just how I want. I know what you mean, though! I have had that strange cropping on portrait mode with iPhone.

  5. Love the concept of rising above!
    Also, love all weeds (in the gardening sense obvs., they are just unappreciated green living beings).

  6. Whoa, your very first photo in this post, the bindweed (morning glory flower) is climbing up hogweed/wild parsnip, which is a MASSIVELY phototoxic weed that I sure hope you did not touch or pick!! This is a very dangerously toxic and invasive member of the same family of plants that has dill, parsley, and the Queen Anne’s lace in it. Wild parsnip results in horrific blisters and scars if you get any of the plant’s oils on your skin. Keep your distance from it.

  7. Bind weed has flowers for a very short time, but the havoc it wreaks is all summer and fall long. I keep thinking I should just plant it in with the buckthorn shrubs creeping into our yard, but I think they would help each other instead of killing one another. In Washington state morning glories and blackberries are considered weeds, which I couldn’t believe, but there you have it.

  8. I love the story and your analogy. Funny how things come into your life just at the right time. Thank you!

  9. I spy WILD PARSNIP!!! Don’t get any on your skin!!!! It’s worse than poison ivy!!!

    I had a neighbor plant some morning glory 35 years ago, because she thought it was pretty— I am still pulling it out of my yard, bushes, flower beds. 35 YEARS!

  10. Weeds helping weeds….the takeaway (since I am not a garden/weed expert) for me is use all of the unexpected good and bad things in life to grow. As a Christian I will take it one step further-use all of it to grow in God and give Him glory. While some are opining about the specifics of this post (which is fine, your right) this couldn’t have come at a more Providential time in my life. My sister went in earlier this week for a medical exam and the tests came back inconclusive and we were looking at the Big C-yes, the same exact kind of cancer that took my mom to heaven a short time ago. More tests were needed today-which all came back NEGATIVE! Thank God!! In the agonizing three days that we had to wait for a conclusive answer, friends became family, everything was put into greater perspective, we all grew closer, hugged a little tighter, held on to one another and we trusted in our Creator God to be with us no matter the outcome. The answer either way for me is weeds helping weeds. We lifted each other up, we encouraged one another and we all became one. We can’t do it alone and I guess neither can weeds! 🙂 Thanks Marian for such timely and unique perspective! xoxo

  11. I’ve followed you for years, now, Marian. You are so talented in so many ways and I love you’re decorating style. Always learning from you but you’re best post, for me, are the introspective ones like this one. As talented as you are, these are your best works!
    Thank you for being so generous 😇.

  12. Ahhhh I love the little whispers from our loving Savior, and even more so when it’s through His nature. Thank you for sharing what God whispered to you.

  13. I grew up in California loving morning glories. Now, I live in Arizona and have been told they are illegal to have in your yard. …..but the strange thing is….my local Home Depot sells the seeds??!! Go figure???!!! I don’t care if it is considered a weed, you cannot deny the beauty of a big ole fat blue one with the sun shining thru it!!!
    Positively gorgeous…..I miss them terribly.

  14. I also enjoyed your post….the sentiment expressed. I fell two years ago and am still rehabbing a shoulder…i think ill try to let my mind take me to better thoughts…i just try to get the walks over with…
    that bind weed is the bane of my existence in the garden in ireland….i pull it up daily and it still flourishes…. a lesson in there somewhere i think

    Btw. I absolutely love the thistle photo

  15. Morning glory. Here it climbs on and smothers everything in it’s path, including oak trees. A truly invasive plant that we work hard to control.
    However, I like the moral of your story. Just be careful about what you allow to take root in your life and your garden.

    1. So interesting! This is on the side of the road, so it’s nowhere near my garden. I thought it was pretty, but I agree I would not want it in my garden!

  16. Love the story and the pictures, but here bind weed is a horrible, invasive weed that does have a pretty flower. You can actually be fined here for the thistle growing in your fields because of how horrible it is for the cattle and how it will take over. It has a beautiful flower also when it blooms, but I have dug many out of the fields and stuffed them in trash bags so they don’t spread. Enjoy your walks! Great pictures and a fun read!

  17. Isn’t it interesting that most comments were about the flower itself instead of the concept/idea you were trying to convey? Life is messy with unexpected events, with good and bad consequences . We can choose to fight and rail against a situation or except and make the best of it and eventually even see our way through.
    Thank you for your pictures and your post today.

    1. When someone has no knowledge of wild parsnip, and has picked it, it is of the highest emergency level and simply cannot go without comment. This noxious weed is dangerous and has maimed and scarred and even blinded many people where I live. The blisters you get are horrendous, look them up! I for sure don’t want Marian to be experiencing this! Just brushing against it can cause these problems, so it needs to be given a wide berth. It is rather symbolic that the bindweed is trying to strangle it.

      Bindweed, by the way, is non toxic unless you eat it.

      1. Is the weed the floral vine is climbing wild parsnip? I’m glad I didn’t pick touch it! I am not familiar with weed varieties.

  18. “A weed is just a plant in the wrong place.”

    The weed you liked is actually considered a terrible nuisance and is called Bind Weed. But I get your point.

    1. Ha, so funny that such a pretty little weed is such a pain! I am definitely not up on weed varieties.

  19. I just noticed the bindweed flower in the ditch near my son’s home. I didn’t know what it was but thought it was pretty & looked like a white morning glory. Didn’t touch it though. Don’t know what it was climbing on.

    Walking is a great way to think thru ideas & commune with God.

  20. The little flower climbing weed isn’t a weed. Looks more like a Morning Glory. Love the climbers! Also love the Queen Ann’s Lace. Beautiful!

  21. Nice post but….. I am trying to fight this weed for over 14 years in our garden. But the neighbor does not so it is coming back every year. But one day I will win 😜😃

  22. You ALWAYS INSPIRE me. What color did you pint the primitive light ble hutch you pd $400.00 for on your post about buying furniture, It is light blue?? I am ready to try milk paint!!!!

  23. I loved this post. We live in AZ and I bought morning glory seeds at a nursery. I was told to make sure I planted them in a confined area. Near the front door we had a small square flower bed. The morning glories were beautiful on a trellis and also grew across a wire we placed above the garage door. We enjoyed them for years. So did the neighbors that would stop and ask about our flower gardens.
    One year we went back to MI for a niece’s wedding. Just before the ceremony started she came into the vestibule and went to a small red bucket on the floor. It held a beautiful bouquet of Queen Anne’s Lace, my favorite wild flower. Wasn’t that precious? I toted that bouquet around Michigan and brought it home, and after planting seeds, had my fav flower growing in our back yard for years. Thanks Marian, you always make my day start off right.

  24. Loved this post as with all your introspective posts….well all your posts, period 🙂 Have you ever considered writing a daily meditation book? That’s something I would buy in a second!

  25. Marion, here in Ohio we call that ‘morning glory’ vine also, and it is a real pest. It’s in my yard now, thanks to my neglectful neighbor, along with some even less desirable companions. It will even sprout through the asphalt of the driveway! And it climbs the blooms of my beautiful hostas and coral bells. When I am not exasperated I like to remind myself that just like all of us humans, there are positives and negatives here, and a sweet flower can be appreciated just for what it is.

  26. I enjoyed your post and it all started from two weeds!! I always love to see the white flowers, but if they are such a nuisance and can’t be killed, why then can’t I get my Morning Glory seeds to grow???!!!!!

  27. In NJ we plant morning glory seeds or buy the plants from a nursery, to enjoy a pretty flowering vine all And they never come back… they’re basically an annual so I was surprised to read how invasive they can be.
    Love your analogy though. Bloom where you’re planted.

  28. I had no idea Morning Glory was so toxic and grew the big purple ones over a lovely arch over the front door. My neighbor came over to tell me that in Africa it is called Destruction Weed and Devil Weed and will grow under the foundation of the house if planted too close. How can such a lovely vine cause everything in it’s path to shrivel up and die? I wonder what our Creator originally had in mind for this vine.

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