• Amy Burvall

#rawthought: Weed or Wish: Sunday Morning Metaphors

Is this a Weed or a Wish?

This sketch is something I did a long time ago to illustrate perspective – some might think a dandelion is a weed (it technically is)….but of course we make wishes by blowing its fuzz…thus giving it a more magical, beautiful quality.

Sometimes my daughter Gwen breaks the tediousness of the day with a real gem. This Sunday morning I was sipping on Prosecco and Italian gourmet marachino cherries attempting to compose a blog post (as you do), and she burst in with  lovely observance…

“We can’t cut down the weed! The bees pollinate there! I love watching them…The bush was barren but the weed is full of life!”

Ok, so to contextualize, we have a bush that runs along side the house to separate us from the neighbors. When my mom lived here and invested in gardeners, the bush was kept prim and proper – almost geometrically obsessive.

Living in Hawaii means things just grow willy-nilly – I reside on the Windward side where we get a lot of rain and it’s a bit like a jungle at times. I’ve learned to embrace rather than attempt to control nature.

But in the past few years we’ve had a real problem with invasive species. This is the particular “weed” my daughter was referring to… Ivy Gourd.

https://dlnr.hawaii.gov/hisc/info/invasive-species-profiles/ivy-gourd/

It’s fully encompassed the bush and is very difficult to remove (one must do so from the roots).


It’s pretty in its own right (albeit messy), with winding ivy-like leaves and lovely star shaped white flowers. But in the end it smothers other things, shielding them from their much needed sunlight.  We’ve tried to keep it in check but at the moment it’s truly out of control. I sigh a bit each time I look out the window.

But not my daughter…she sees, as I like to say, “the beauty in the broken”.


Gwen wanted to be a “nature witch” for Halloween

Before her comment this morning I’d never considered the possible positive consequences of this “parasite”. She’s been very concerned about the decimation of the bee population (see this Greenpeace link). And she adores plants like her grandmother (I’ve never had a green thumb). Her comments really made me think…

what if what we thought was detrimental was really beneficial?

what if the messy was better than the perfectly manicured?

what if the foreign (or at least outside influence) was better than the domestic?

how often does something serve a greater purpose (the health of the planet) than our needs (i.e. aesthetics)?

I think we often get caught up in what should be and are thusly blinded to the what could be.

My daughter’s comments were a real lesson for me – a reminder to look at all sides, to seek out other perspectives, and to try to find a positive in the seemingly negative. My desire for a tidy garden is so minimal compared to the planet’s need for bee survival (they really do make the world go around).

As a metaphor, this incident reminds me to be open to others’ views and to not dismiss what I would consider distasteful before examining all aspects. I hope it makes me more selfless in my approach to things in general, as well as more open-minded to the potential in what at first glance is frustrating.

In the end I hope to wish on a weed.


drawn by my daughter Gwen @eggroll_baby on Instagram

#lesson #wisdom #gwenburvall #perspective #metaphoricalthinking #weed #metaphor #potential

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