What would summer be without Cosmos, those beautiful pink, white, red and peppermint striped flowers. This summer I discovered a very depressing answer.
Cosmos have always been my favorite flower and several years ago I planted a border along the west side of my tennis court. Since Cosmos have a tendency to replenish themselves I have always been assured of a beautiful harvest! However to be certain that I will have a colorful border I usually scatter additional seeds in the early spring.
This spring, Ted, who does the gardening, was out of commission with a bad shoulder. We had a substitute gardener who became the Esteemed Keeper of the cosmos. Ted supervised, but his fill-in proudly proclaimed “Not only did I reseed them but yesterday I weeded the entire area.” Since no one had ever devoted time to weeding my flowers I was duly impressed.
”Come,” he said, “I will show you the row of cosmos.”
Since it was only mid-June I knew that it was still too early for cosmos to sprout flowers. But, together with the temporary gardener, I headed over to the tennis court. This was not an easy task since the irrigation system was on and we were forced to navigate our way around a maze of sprinklers.
Eventually we reached the tennis court and enthusiastically my newly appointed gardener pointed to the row of flowers. His endeavors had resulted in a straight line of young greenery waiting to take over the landscape.
Unfortunately, the neat row revealed an esoteric group of young plants that did not bear any resemblance to cosmos.
”Sir,” the ecstatic gardener said “look at my carefully weeded row in front of the tennis court.” I looked and I realized they were not cosmos. They were what we call officially weeds! All the plants were similar but the makeshift gardener had carefully pulled out the cosmos and left the weeds!
I have spent several days weeding the weeds and delivering a eulogy for the cosmos that once lived in that place.
The weeds will not make a colorful bouquet on the dining room table but they will remind me that in all of our life we should be careful what we put in and what we take out.
Life consists of a two-way street, what goes in and what goes out. To make life meaningful and beautiful be very careful with what you absorb as the substance of your years and what you throw away.
And always beware of the weeds.