I’ve been making a real attempt to renovate the front garden this year. The neighbors must be pleased; I know I am. While gardening is invigorating, if often sweaty and exhausting work, the results have been spectacular. But as punishment for years of neglect, a noxious weed plagues my perennials. Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), otherwise known as wild morning glory, is sprouting all over as the season advances. What I once considered an acceptable invader with its tiny white flowers now alarms me with several feet of growth in mere days. The skinny vine rapidly winds around my cherished butterfly bush, mangling the delicate blooms.
As I unwind this vermin, deceptively tender stems snap off at the ground and give me a false sense of accomplishment. Only upon identification of the weed have I learned that new shoots will emerge from the smallest bits of roots left in the soil. Complete removal requires pesticides that I’d rather have avoided for the sake of the wildlife I want to attract. There’s just no way that I want to try eradicating this thing without modern chemicals. Heck, one recommended compound is 2-4, D, a component in Agent Orange! So I’m going to continue unraveling the vines from my flowers, leaving enough at ground level to target with the broad spectrum herbicide glyphosate while avoiding the desired plantings.
I face a prolonged, fastidious process.
With a weakness for metaphors, I can’t help but see yet another in this lesson. My artistic side has been suffocating for a long while. I’m slowly learning that there are a number of weeds I’ve allowed to infiltrate and strangle my writing. Time and persistence are required to identify, control, and eventually decimate these damaging trespassers.
Distractions, doubts, and detractors that keep me away from the page have to be systematically acknowledged before destruction. That critic in my head with those easy whispered excuses must be confronted. I have tools at hand such as those taught by Julia Cameron. In fact, a group of very supportive forum friends (some of whom contribute to this blog – thanks to you all, dears!) are currently guiding me through Cameron’s “Finding Water”.
This fight can be won. I just need to stay alert, attentive, and consistent with my efforts. The fruits of these labors will be well worth the effort. Now excuse me while I go work on a story.