(Matthew 13: 27-28 from the Parable of the Sower)
…And the servants of the household came to him and said, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered them, “An enemy has done this.”
I know who the enemy is. She is my neighbour who does not pay much attention to dandelions. Her lawn is a sea of yellow and the airborne seeds blow over to my lawn.
To the left, my grass, and to the right, my neighbour’s grass.
Last year I sowed new grass seed front and back. I paid good money and chose the best sun/shade mix. I scattered fertilizer, and brought in a considerable amount of top soil to sprinkle over the grass and rake in, so that the seeds would have some fodder for new growth.
The great mystery for anyone who has killed dandelions, is their fortitude. I can go through a five gallon sprayer of weed killer and two weeks later be in the middle of a dandelion patch all over again. You can see that even in the blackened plants that were supposed to be killed down to the roots, new yellow growth just keeps on popping up. At the end of the world, there will be cockroaches left, and dandelions. That much is certain.
I am contemplating how the process of age turns you into a lawn nazi, otherwise known as a garden enthusiast. We had them in our old neighbourhood, those retired folk who would work on their grass all morning, then sit on the front porch the rest of the day inspecting their work, all the while eyeballing your yard work which has fallen short. I used to laugh at them when I had more things to keep me busy but it seems the aperture by which you view the world narrows with age. And here I am. It seems I am also a lawn nazi.
Things become a fixation when you must revisit them, particularly when you must revisit them without success. A bit of rage in the mix solidifies intent, and intent can become fixation. I am now fixated on getting all the dandelions out of my lawn though I know it will be a losing battle. Still I forge on.
My wife had an interesting suggestion that I entertained briefly, to eat the dandelions as best revenge. Apparently they are very healthy. However, even in my most bloodthirsty mode I cannot imagine eating that many dandelions, as the ranks of the fallen would compound daily on our dinner plates.
There is also the unconscionable possibility that I might actually get to LIKE dandelions, an enemy I cannot easily embrace. Right now, I am of the mind to give them no quarter. Yea though I wax Biblical, there is no doubt that this has become a personal battle of good against evil. When I kill dandelions, in my mind’s eye, I am casting them into a fiery furnace: where there shall be great wailing and gnashing of teeth. The wailing and gnashing of teeth part gives me particular joy.
If you too fight dandelions, you will see that they have become a metaphor for all those things in life which confound your best efforts. They are the unworthy ideas which keep resurfacing to ensnare our minds, to lull us into dissipation and distraction. Hence, my vigilance and my resolve. I want to warn my neighbour of her folly but I fear she would not take kindly to my advice.
I am a lawn nazi. You know those oldsters, the blue-hairs and the chrome-domes you see rocking on the front porches. You imagine we are merely passing the time. Little did you know, we are standing guard.