Cnr of Park Rd and MacMahon St, Hurstville Sundays at 9:30 am and 6:30 pm

What weed is that?

One day I will write a book about weeds. In the lawn at church, I was stunned to find a weed, on top of a weed, on top of a weed, with some poor grass underneath struggling to breathe. I’m no botanist, but the topmost villain was clover, and already sporting a nasty spray of burrs. The next was cudweed – green, glossy, smoochy, and smothering – and then a ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly’ dandelion. Not far away, and waiting in the queue of mischief, was a bindii, a thistle, and something else that will one day appear in my book.

The poor languishing grass seemed to respond with thankfulness to being released from its prison, and I was glad to be its liberator. Hopefully one day it will regain its health and colour, though no doubt the weeds shall regroup and mount their revenge and strike again with malice. The watch will need to be doubled, literally, and made more frequent than just once at every working bee.

The whole episode made me rethink the parable that Jesus told about the seed and soils, where some seed made a good beginning, but soon got overrun and choked by weeds. The fact that weeds moved into the neighbourhood ought not to surprise. They always do, and with an annoying enthusiasm and stubborn residency. The surprising (and alarming) thing in the parable, is the description of a life that just didn’t care, and simply gave the ground without a fight.

DM 29th October 2022


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