Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vegetable Plants and Pizza Plants

Ever since seeing Wall-E a few months ago, I've been fascinated and horrified at the premise: a dusty, trashy world with not one plant (that humans know of). The more I think of it, the more I am comforted by how far away we are from the dystopia in the film. As much as our industry and our sheer numbers have done to Mother Earth, she still contains innumerable varieties of flowers, fruits, vegetables, trees.

And weeds.

I just go out to the yard, and I'm tickled. Never mind that the bulk of my 'lawn' is sandspur plants with the spur part mowed off. Never mind that something ate all the leaves off most of my pole bean seedlings. I think, would you just LOOK at the number and variety of green things? Some have medicinal uses I am aware of; others fit Emerson's definition of a weed: 'a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.'

The more I look, the more I realize the biggest hole in the plot of Wall-E: the amazing ability to replenish the world's biodiversity after finding one little vine growing in an old shoe. The folks on that spaceship couldn't even put back the things in my tiny yard in the trailer park. Forget about the birds here, the bees, arachnids, squirrels, different kinds of lizards, tiny crawling insects of many colors: they couldn't even put the weeds back. (Nor would they know how, considering the spaceship captain seemed to think even pizza grew out of the ground.)

You know what the best part is about weeds? They grow back. As much as we screw up, we still get flowers growing in sidewalk cracks.  We still get edible greens and mushrooms without planting them. We may not even be aware of this gift all around us, but it keeps giving for as long as we let it.

All I can say is thank you to my Creator, the mother of us all.

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