Thursday, February 20, 2014

Some See a Weed. Some see a Wish.

I saw the photo below online today and it reminded  me of an incident when I was about 4 years old before my school days.

I was  playing in our garden and spotted an interesting variety of dandelions, buttercups and daisies in the lawn. The numbers of them and the colours had me completely hooked. I knew my mother liked flowers so I began to gather them and made up a good sized bunch. I then arranged them as a small posie and proudly brought it in to my mother. I was convinced that she would be delighted.

"Here's some nice flowers for you Mammy" I beamed.

I didn't get the reaction I expected. There was laugher.

"Ah son, those are just weeds!"

I was deflated. I stood there quietly and my smile disappeared. My mother could see my reaction and began to become more sympathetic. Eventually we agreed to put the "flowers" into a little glass vase. They were on display when my Dad came home from work. There were more sniggers but it was said that I was a good boy.

I wasn't convinced. It was like in later school life being told - "okay, but could have done much better." It was the first time I had been told that there is a difference between flowers and weeds. What I had thought was beautiful was in fact worthless.

To this day I can get rather annoyed at how we can often dismiss certain flowering wild plants in a negative way. I suppose it's because as adult gardeners dandelions, buttercups and daisies upset our nice green lawns and propagate too easily. But these flowers can still look nice in a lawn, especially to a child, it's a matter of attitude.

It all reminds me of how children and adults look at clouds in the Joni Mitchel song Both Sides Now. Are clouds "rows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air" or is it that "now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone "?




Grandad said...

I was taught that a weed is a plant that is in the wrong place. It makes sense when you think about it?

John of Dublin said...

Hi there Grandad. You're still alive and reading my blogs...amazing!! Yes, I think I've heard that phrase and it does make sense!

Grandad said...

Still reading? Of course.

Still alive? Not so sure.

friv 5 said...

The picture and it evokes memories of you, which is good memories, right? Everything can be brought to the rush of emotions and memory.

Anonymous said...

Wonder how old you were when this occurred? I took my children for a meal to a hotel in Killiney and afterwards when the adults were enjoying time on their own, in runs my youngest daughter with a bunch she had picked from the hotel's garden. The good breeding of the staff allowed the incident go unremarked but not unnoticed. She, for her part does not remember the occasion. She is a lovely adult.

John of Dublin said...

Thanks Anonymous. I reckon I was 4 years old at the time.