Wisdom dictates that one should not write in the heat of the moment. I did anyway. However, wisdom is getting the last word, or at least one or two, as I did choose to wait and manicure my words with the blades of kindness and patience and not a little bit of self examination, though hopefully no navel-gazing. I will level the question: For what purpose are daisies mowed over for seemingly no good reason? What in the lawn is going on?
This past weekend, I had the privilege of mowing a large patch of mostly weeds (it might be a stretch to call it a lawn). I had fun, really I did. Reminded me of the wonderful days of acreage life growing up in small town Saskatchewan.
Coming from a particular family, as in, we are particular (I have heard the term OCD bandied about). Particular about the methods for folding towels, T-shirts and mowing in distinct patterns (preferably maze or dignified stripes), we even discuss this on occasion at family gatherings. I can get a witness if need be. So, bent to follow the family protocol, I proceeded to do my best to produce a beautiful pattern as I mowed. That was until I saw the most beautiful patch of daisies. I was torn. These daisies obviously were in the wrong place at the wrong time and I was the one that had the blades beneath to prove it, or not.
Later, after this incident, which I will get back to shortly, I researched my angst. Found out that my thoughts were documented on the ever-authoritative World Wide Web. Yes, I’m being sarcastic but it is sometimes comforting to justify one’s thoughts via the big triple W. I once again divagate. (Look at me using my thesaurus to find a slightly less adequate substitute for digress. Note to self: pummel this new word into submission, then masterfully switch back to digress in three or so blogs from now).
TRIPLE W FACTS
- A flower is a flower until it’s unwanted and then it’s a weed. If it’s invasive or where you don’t want it to be, it’s a weed even if it’s technically a flower. So, you get to choose whether to mow or not depending on your opinion of whether the daisy is a weed or flower. That’s pretty harsh, but only if you see daisies as flowers. Otherwise, it’s no big deal.
- Daisies are symbols of purity, innocence, beauty, patience, simplicity and loyalty. That’s pretty impressive for a flower that some people think is a weed.
- The word “Daisy” comes from Day’s Eyes because they are wide open during the day. This is why sloths are not called daisies. Also why teenagers aren’t (with the exception of those with the last name Duke).
Let’s do a wheelie and head down to the field again to my story. I saw the daisy patch, thankfully or not, ahead of time. It was tiny, especially compared to the weed patch that engulfed it. I had one swath to wrestle with my thoughts. The wrestling match went a little like this…
Me: No one would care or notice if I took the blades to those daisies. Might even be cathartic on some level.
Myself: Who thinks like that, GOSH! What is wrong with you?
Me: John Deere was meant to do these kinds of tasks. If I don’t do it, someone else will think I was being an artistic type who doesn’t follow through.
Myself: What do you think God would have you do?
Me: I sure do like this riding contraption – I think I’m rocking the tractor.
Myself: Hey, it’s only a few yards until decision time. Think about it already!
Me: However they got there, those daisies don’t belong and if I don’t mow them, someone else will.
Myself: They’re beautiful. Doesn’t matter how they got there, it matters what you decide in this moment.
Me: Perhaps my mad skills on this tractor might do a perfectly circular swath around the daisies?
Myself: Gosh, you’re egotistical.
Me: Yes, I am. Remember, I’m talking to myself. Hellooooo!
Finally, I snapped out of it and actually prayed. I decided to cut in a circle around them and leave them there. Even though the over all aesthetic result was comical, those daisies were stunning and gorgeous, delicate and beautiful. Unlike all the weeds they were surrounded by. They were flowers to me. I knew it. More than that, I knew that God saw them as flowers. So, they weren’t weeds. Not to Him or me. It did matter that I chose not to mow them. In fact, I was joyful to see them – so cheery that I did a few wheelies around the pylons in the parking lot as I drove the mower recklessly back to its shed. Tried reversing into the shed, which was a total fail as I nearly ran over my own son mistaking the gas for the brake. Thank goodness my children are athletic and observant! Finally, I gave up and allowed my husband (complete with slough eyes directed my way) to finish what apparently took more skill to do.
Rototill your way to the metaphor. I was angry recently because I got mowed over. My temperature rose significantly despite that the mowing itself was minor. It reminded me of past experiences, mine and others when choices to mow or not over people were made and I didn’t like it. I was annoyed not only because of the past but because there was not a small part of indignancy left. I realize this is not a word, but I’m once again creating a term to plant in this story. Indignant – take a look at the root of this reaction. Injustice happens and chosen self righteous reaction wells up and creates a state of “not dignified”. In “indignancy”, reactions such as “What happened to honouring souls because they are souls even if they are in the wrong weed patch? Do the daisies really have to go? Why do I feel like such a weed? What is wrong with this lawn?” are common.
Let’s take a side step into music. Chords are very much like daisies, full of beauty, unique and worthy of use. However, not all chords belong in all melodies. Some are downright discordant and it would be foolish to allow the disharmony created by a misplaced chord. The only solution is to adjust the notes of the chord or find an interesting substitute chord. Poor songwriting allows chords to take over a song and render it boring or worse yet, academic and devoid of passion. Sounds pretty weedy, doesn’t it?
Let’s transplant this metaphor solidly in the ground of our hearts. If I choose to bloom in a weed patch that I was never supposed to be in, I may get mowed. If I am in a flower bed, I may not be mowed. If I am part of a lawn but then the gardener decides to landscape, I may eventually be transplanted or mowed. The point is, I may get mowed. It’s how I deal with the mowing that makes the difference.
If I see a daisy in my lawn, I have several choices. I can choose to mow it, transplant it, tuck it behind my ear (sans dirt and roots preferably), or I could even finagle a flower bed where it is or create one for it to join. I can even mow a circle around it and leave it there to stick out as a reminder of beauty. The point is, there are times when I choose to mow or not. It’s how I deal with the mowing that makes the difference.
Choices are important. Instead of becoming more angry and self indulgent, I’m going to henceforth choose to get even, as in even-tempered. I could very easily end this metaphor by saying something final such as: at all costs, don’t mow. But it’s important to fast forward in my story.
In that swath, I chose to lovingly curve around the daisies. However, on the very next swath, I frantically mowed stinkweed or buttercups (not really sure which they were). My deep thoughts had passed and the only thoughts remaining were shallow: yellow=weed=ugly=mow=done for the day=I think I need an ice cream. Yes, I have room to grow.
I just discovered Bliss Carman in my web travels. A Canadian poetic genius, he was a relentless idealist and consummately kind soul. Providentially, he also hailed from Fredericton, which is the home of one of my favourite restaurants.
A couple of years ago, though the owners had no clue who I was, they opened their doors on their night off and made the most amazing meal ever. I was aware that it was because my friend asked them to. But they could have declined. In that moment, they could have decided that I was a weed or a flower, even though in God’s eyes I was a flower. They chose flower and in that moment, I was blessed.
I wonder how many flowers I deem as weeds. I am entirely capable of mowing over ideas, feelings, and important moments. There are plenty of daisies that I don’t even notice. Perfectly innocent stinkweed blooms until I take the blades to it.
Truthfully, when I receiving an unexpected mowing experience, I was as angry with myself as I was with the person who mowed over me. I knew in that moment, that I was no different, that I’d done the exact same thing perhaps even earlier that very day.
So, how am I going to deal with the mowing, received or given? It is so obvious now, thanks to the daisies and buttercups. I need to choose to repent and I do. For more than I even realized when I began this writing. For those times that I have resented and condemned others for mowing me over, I repent for choosing acceptance from a source that is not God and I choose to forgive. For those times that I have mowed others over, I repent for choosing to be unkind, intentionally or unintentionally or for turning a blind eye to the plight of the daisies.
In fact, I plan on repenting regularly. Not out of compulsion but because I know I’m going to need to. This term “repent” is not a popular word these days, but it is imperative for healthy lawns everywhere. I regret deeply that I have looked to the lawn for acceptance rather than fixing my eyes on the God of Creation who created and maintains the lawns. I am sorry, deeply sorry for the times that I carelessly or purposefully mowed where I could have chosen one of many options that I was too pressured or lazy to look for. I want more than this – continually saying”Oops! A Daisy!” gets wearying. I want to quickly and readily see the daisies and dunes in my life for the precious gift that they are:
Over the shoulders and slopes of the dune I saw the white daisies go down to the sea, a host in the sunshine, an army in June, the people God sends us to set our heart free. William Bliss Carman