Mother always had a plot of land for me.
I was given a corner of the backyard to dig and plant and rule as I wanted. I explored jungles, befriended giant snakes and monstrous bugs, all the while, battling the overgrown brush, letting in the sun to an undiscovered world. I hunted rabbits and squirrels, spear in tow - any stick I could find - and wailed fierce battle cries as I fought through the untamed forest. I was the farmer, harvesting, or the jaguar, preparing to pounce, or the florist, picking over my immense garden for hours to find the perfect collection of wildflowers and weeds and remnants of discarded seeds to piece together and make bouquets. I was the wild child, spending too much time with plants and bugs, and not enough with people.
I grew, as everything does - my garden taught me that much - and I abandoned my childish preconceptions that there are no weeds - every plant is beautiful in the eyes of a toddler florist. I had seen mother weed with prejudices and I gradually learned (even though, at first, those she saw as morning glories and wild mustard, I saw as vining joy and sunshine stalks).
You can never judge a flower by its petals...
even the bad ones can be pretty.
Life moved on, and I moved on - forever abandoning that precious plot of land I so tenderly cultivated and called my own. The hand-picked friends I had grown up with and whispered all my secrets to when I felt no one else could listen, the home turf I knew like the back of my hand, which was often covered in the same turf anyway - but the best thing that plants had taught me was that you can always start over.
My apartment residence (which I held for far too long) had no access to fertile ground - so I crafted hanging gardens, baskets floating in open windows, nestled in sills and corners. A cramped, but weed-free life: my sanctuary from the sidewalk-crack-dandelions I sneered at as I walked past on my way to work, pseudo-flowers you can't get rid of.
I am older now with a wild child of my own, girl of storm-blue eyes and rats-nest hair and a garden plot of her own. She plucked me a bouquet the other day, product of her hard work and imagination - she had just rounded up a roly-poly rodeo -
a bouquet of weeds
and it was beautiful.