Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Operation Tumbleweed

Tumbleweed. It is my arch nemesis. Okay not really. But it's probably at least the spawn of satan. How mean am I to say that about a plant, me, the usual champion of weeds? Well. I met the spiny side of this terror. It is not pretty. And it's not nice. And I've made it my mission to eradicate it from the 4 acres upon which I reside. Which, honestly, is laughable. I could pick a bushel a day and never win the race towards dried- spiny- stab- you- in- the- leg season.

Let me start at the beginning. I love weeding. Always have. Tumbleweed comes up easier than any weed I've ever pulled, which is awesome. It gets my zen on, although, granted, I can really only stand hunching over and kneeling and crouching for an hour, tops. It makes me feel terrible empathy for immigrant strawberry pickers making 50 cents an hour under the table. Oooops, didn't mean to delve into politics there. But since I did...

I moved to Arizona. What if the people here didn't let me? I came for a better standard of living, willing to contribute to the economy and abide the laws... granted, I speak the same language, but other than that, how different is my migration from a Mexicans? We're all earthlings, as granola as that may sound. Yeah, I'm a big fat hippie socialist. Oh well. Back to my racist tumbleweed eradication.

See, I'd only kill in self defense. A mosquito bites me, it becomes a bloody smear on my skin. That sort of thing. Tumbleweed not only bites me when I walk by, but it's an invasive species only here because of man-made conditions. Haha, besides being a fat hippie socialist plant racist, I'm leaving the phrase as "man-made" instead of the (?) PC "human made". Oops, I again digressed.

Anyway, while pulling weed after weed, it dawned on me that it would be cool to see my progress. Plus, my pull n' toss method might just end up as transplanting. So I got a bag and started filling it. Pheonix and Lilly not only kept me company, they graciously volunteered as supervisors. And the weirdest thing happened. This feeling of absolute connect, of rightness, came over me. For one thing, I still need as much mind numbing distraction as possible from Sebastian's freak accident death, and weeding gave me that. But when I actually started collecting the tumbleweed, it was like I was reaching into my deepest gene codes, my most ancient ancestry, filling the primitive need to gather. It's like how campfires can mesmerize you. It's our human roots. And, come to think of it, it's why I think we should look at all people as earth dwellers, united, who cares where lines are drawn on maps and what deity or deities any one of us believes or disbelieves in, or who has brown eyes and who has freckles. We all came from the same place, be it monkeys, cavemen in africa, a god who created us and our habitat in seven days, etc.

I don't know. I don't know the answers to these thoughts and feelings. And I can't say my sense of human kinship will change my curmudgeonly tendencies. Nor can I say that I will live and let (tumbleweed) live. I guess all I can do is what I've always done... try to be empathetic, try to treat others with courtesy and respect, try to be thankful for what I have, and most of all, try to have more love than negativity in my system.

But the tumbleweed is still going down.