Weeds, Women and Wisdom We Want…

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It’s hot and moist again here in South Florida…the kind of weather where the air permeates your body with inescapable heat: the sun, the high temperature, the humidity that fills your lungs with sticky warmth and you can smell everything in a 3-D sort of way if that were possible.

My outdoor garden is overrun now. Bugs are an afterthought, it’s the weeds that have run amuck and overwhelmed my spirit as I entered my humble garden today after being absent from it for only a couple of days. Whereas my kindred gardening souls in northern latitudes are starting to enjoy sweet harvests from their gardens, my plots are fighting to stay alive against the relentless sub-tropical waves of warmth–a haven breeding ground for countless weeds.

It’s easy to write off these invasive weeds as a waste of plant energies and yet the study of horticulture has found that some weeds are beneficial for our soil as they end up leaving things that weren’t there before. You can conduct an internet search on the subject to reach links like this: http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicweeds/weed_information/weedtype.php?id=-2

But we can’t easily do the same research when it comes to the weeds that creep in and threaten to choke our personal lives.  It’s mid-year already and where do we stand with what we set out to do in 2012?  Perhaps you had plans to tackle and it may seem that circumstances and relationships have taken you down in unexpected ways.  Hopefully there are many positive outcomes in some of these instances.

It’s overwhelming to know where to start weeding whether we’re speaking of your plants outside or your spirit inside.  Just start picking up the one closest to you, the one that is hurting you the most at this very moment. The important thing is to not run away and avoid it because that will only give the weeds more power over our plants, our life.

In my garden, my gated entrance has what my brother calls “torpedo grass” invading aggressively: I just put on my gloves and started grabbing at the grass with more gusto than calculated effort.  At my desk today I picked up the first clipped article on my massive pile of papers and wrote the letter that went with it to send to the appropriate family member in snail mail mode.  In my heart I focused on the refrain stuck on rewind and addressed that issue to the best of my ability.

The consistent thing about weeds is that although we may eradicate them for a time, they will pop up again.  They may be the same ones or different ones altogether–either way, each time we deal with them we learn and grow.  Our physical gardens also mature in that many secondary generations of plants will develop stronger strains to deal with the difficulties causes by the invasive species.  The goal for our personal weeds are also to be stronger the next time around and maybe learn what we didn’t see before.

Good luck weeding this summer!

R.V.S.Bean

WHY BOTHER? FOOD AND RELIGON FOR THOUGHT

WHY BOTHER? FOOD AND RELIGON FOR THOUGHT

As I wrestled last week with my very hyper older son while trying to hold on to my squirming infant son in our Greek Orthodox church pew during worship service, I thought: Why bother? The same question pops into my mind when in the middle of a grocery aisle with two restless little souls while trying to decide which dry food good is healthier for my family’s pantry. It seems there are a couple items I’m quite passionate about when raising our children, one rooted in spiritual sustenance for their souls and the other being physical fuel for their bodies. I’m guessing that I’m not the only mom out there in any given country that feels the same way.

WHAT’S IT ALL FOR? Sense of Incense and Icons

So back to last week: As I chased the rabbit in my mind who was screaming “why bother?”, I reminded myself to look around and remember why I do bother, along with my husband, to go through our weekly ritual of attending our Greek Orthodox church. I cannot speak for other faiths such as Jews, Muslim, Hinduism, et cetera—but in my faith, besides the obvious theological tie to the miraculous belief of the Trinity and Christ’s Resurrection…I appreciate the hope of things to come and that while we’re going through the rumble-tumble ride that life can be, we can find ways to help and love each other. There are so many things about our world and the creation beyond our atmosphere that I don’t know that I’m in awe of the God force behind it all and I’m grateful for the chance to live and participate. If I can share this with my children in a way that inspires them to embrace life, love and respect for others then I will be at peace at the end of my journey here. This can be a tough philosophy to re-enact when dealing with a temper tantrum or a tired-tot meltdown, however, I encourage perseverance if not to help you remember what’s important to your belief system in your practicing faith. My husband and I do agree that ultimately if our hearts are not in it, then it does our children no good and it would be a moot point for us to attend church if we are only bitter shells of ourselves in the congregation.

FOOD IS FOOD, RIGHT? Discerning What’s Best

The ridiculous part about this food subject is that many of in the “civilized” world have way too many choices. It’s sort of like how women hundreds of years ago didn’t have so many choices when it came to family planning but now are sort of paralyzed sometimes in whether or not to have children. When it comes to planning our family’s menu day to day, I make countless choices in the lead up to the final product that arrives on the table for the main meals and snack times. For my own crazy methodology, I like to seek out organic and locally fresh ingredients when possible. Organic and even local can mean very high prices: in those instances I may purchase conventional or just skip that type of meal until later. It helps to educate one’s self on the foods you and your family prefer to eat so as to know if you want to make a concession or not. But don’t peg me for a purist, either. I often tell family and friends that in the end there’s a reason I give thanks and pray before every meal, especially when eating out at a restaurant: I can’t control every single ingredient sometimes and as we’re finding out in recent news, I may unknowingly purchase something under a false label or omission of vital information (Google search the recent news on meat labeling for items such as poultry and pork-evidently many of those meats are injected with solutions like water, broth and other things to plump them up and they’re not currently mandated to be labeled as such). Let’s not forget-for some of us, fixing food is our way of loving our family and friends, so it’s worth the hassle even with the “bewitching hour” for parents (I highly recommend Crockpots!)

FOOD AND RELIGION, IS THAT ALL? The Countless Other Things

As a lover, mother, daughter, sister, friend and wife that I am these days, there are many other things that I strive each day to share and instill in my children. I know that I’m not perfect and many times can be hypocritical in my beliefs—sometimes even changing my views on what I thought was my solid opinion beforehand. What’s most important must be how we love each other and when it comes to our children that’s truly what they need the most is our unconditional love, all the rest of the countless other things we try to give/share with them are just the details of life that make us all unique.

RVSB

Wyoming Life

"God bless it and keep it wild"