I have a weed that has grown inside since I was a young child. A weed that can grow so tall it blocks the sun. It can block sight. Difficult to see past. So thick, it can block people. Like a fence around a yard. Keeping others out. Away. Distant. It keeps me emotionally protected, or so it claims.
I never mean to water this weed. To tend to it's growth. Yet it sprouts up from time to time. Taking over. Uninvited. Igniting a darkness. A barrier.
Growing wildly and out of control. Self seeding. Breeding. Multiplying. Smothering seeds I have tried to plant. Seeds of vulnerability. Truth. Admittance. Seeds that I nurture. I cherish. Seeds that I care for, spend time with, feed, effort, attention, commitment to. Seeds that magically manage to bloom into friendships through openings in the weeds. Breaking the weeds barricade. Slightly. Allowing people to see through. To see me. To hear me past it's thick brush.
But the weed continues to enlarge. To heighten. Filling those small openings. Once again, blocking them out. Covering the fruits of my labor. My work. My voice.
I have whacked the weed down from time to time. Sown and tended to my seeds in its temporary absence. Enough time to feel the sunshine, the wind, the roots deepen, the growth. Until the weed sprouts and rises again. The way weeds do. Without warning. Undesired. With impeccable precision. Quickly covering the bare ground. Adaptable to spread. Interweaving between the seeds, before over powering them. Opportunistic and aggressive. An obnoxious growth.
In the holds of a pandemic, it has grown fiercely. Wildly. The perfect climate to isolate. Encage. The perfect temperature to thrive. And attempt to take over.
Social distance. Wear a mask. Stay at home. Be safe. Hide. All things that nurture the weed. Division. Delusion. Conspiracies. The weed grows.
Leaving the chances of any seed slim to evolve. To develop. To progress. Few seeds have. Those are the seeds I marvel with amazement and wonder. Their potency, fragrance and beauty breathtaking. Their existence astonishing. Their willingness and bravery to resist the weed. To come to fruition. To materialize and arise against the inhabitance of the weed. One, despite all odds, has bloomed into a marriage. Into a sturdy, solid bush covered with both flowers and thorns. Thorns poking the weed when it gets too close. Flowers to bud, unfold, illuminate to celebrate it's survival. It's rare success.
Raising my young son, is my most treasured seed. My family tree, the only blood relative I have ever known. His light, his laugh, my sunshine. Consumed with keeping him safe. Fertilizing, feeding, caring for his seeds. Fixating on nurturing his growth. His freedom. His roots. Giving him space to flourish. Blossom. A relationship I only want to enrich. A relationship where the weed is not welcome. Yet, it lingers on the fringe. Knowing the importance. Sensing my exposure. Feeding on my fear and need to protect. Gobbles it up as nutrients. Sweets. Devoured.
The sound the weed makes in the harsh gale is reminiscent of my father's gruff voice, "Silence is golden." To stay removed. Quiet. A state the weed prefers. Restrained. Complicit. Obedient.
When preparing to confront the weed, the sound I hear is nostalgically my mothers narration. Her voice echos in the draft, becoming mine. Strengthening me. Willing me to combat the weed. Encouraging me to continue to plant despite its presence. Whispering in the wind, "Silence is not golden. Sometimes, its just plain yellow." Her voice rustling in the leaves, "All in good time. God's time. Pursue. Persevere. Seed by seed."
Reminding me to treasure the beauty and shine of vivid gold. Reminding me I never liked yellow. Yellow, ironically, being the color of the weed. Pale. Dry. Brittle. Dead plant yellow. No vibrancy. No pizzazz. Just the color of death. With a tenacity to live. To amplify. To disconnect. To block. Keeping me, my voice, hidden in it's shadow.
I too have a tenacity to live. A fierce one.
I need to rip the weed out. Pluck it from its root and unearth it. Refusing to allow it to grow incessantly. Wildly. Forcefully. Demanding myself to be just as persistent. Just as purposeful. Just as strong willed. As it grows, I must continue to dig. Deeper and deeper. Ferociously tearing it out. Dislodging its intent.
Knowing it will remerge, demanding its presence. While I will continue to demand its removal. Feeling my own roots develop and extend deep into the soil. My own trunk thickening. Growing in stability. Resistance. I will continue to support and protect my seeds against the power of the weed. I will demand my presence be here as well. Loud. Present. Heard. While socially distant. Behind a mask. At home. Safely.