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…