Friday, May 23, 2014
Convolvulaceae arvensis - known commonly as the bindweed. It's very name strikes fear into the heart of gardeners. It's roots can grow to 20 feet deep and can spawn new growth from a single 2 inch rhizome, making it extremely invasive and nigh impossible to eradicate. This noxious weed is one of the most serious weeds in temperate regions of the world, resulting in crop losses totaling in the hundred of millions of dollars each year - and it is living underneath our garden.
In finding ways to deal with this dilemma, I've subscribed to the principle that a plant cannot live without the enriching effects of photosynthesis. Starving the herbaceous beast of sunlight is thus the only viable option. Over the past several weeks, I have trained my eyes to detect the earliest signs of its budding camouflage spears. From observations, bindweed can send upwards of ~2 dozen shoots a day. Missing a day only prolongs the pain. Initially I was dejected; however, with each passing day I take more and more pleasure in rooting out its network of devious spies.
In a spiritual parallel, temptations and impure thoughts that are allowed to fester within us can rapidly pollute our minds and destroy our peace. I'm reminded of a Cherokee legend I heard growing up:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.
"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil - he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good - he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you - and inside every other person, too."
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."