Weeds

butterfly

The softness of twilight covers a multitude of sin.

A sunset ride through the open fields and along the woods trails.  Early spring growth hiding the depredations of winter.  A downed tree here.  Broken branches there.  Saplings leaned over.  Grass already knee-high, dappled with scatterlings of milkweed and thistle and flowers I cannot name.

My mount does not balk, but I must stop often to clear the path.  Unlike her namesake, she is reckless and her footing unsure.  Her name is Kawasaki.

These paths were clear last fall.  The grass was short.  My heart sighs.

Mother despises what we call neatness.  She will not tolerate it.  Tenderness is not in her vocabulary.

Establish.  Nurture.  Destroy with violence.

The Redhead despises what we call chaos.  She will tolerate, but not quietly.

Maintain neatness with equal violence.  Bush hog and drip-torch.

I will clear trails, fully aware that I will do so again and again and again, ’til death do us part.  Whether she or Mother, it matters not.

I will mow the fields even though I know what hides the rattlesnake also feeds the butterfly.

Because a thousand disappointed butterflies are better than one disappointed Redhead.

4 thoughts on “Weeds

  1. I’m with your wife – cleared trails are good. I like to see what I’m walking into. Although a person can bushwhack up here in the north without fear of stepping on a rattlesnake or copperhead (or one of those giant Burmese pythons that are on their way up from the everglades.) It’s funny how the part of your brain that sends the message “SNAKE!!!” and gives you a big jolt of adrenalin works much faster than the part that says “aw, it’s just a garter snake.”

    1. Strange thing is that I’ve only seen one poisonous snake on this land in the 30+ years I’ve been coming here. I can count on one hand snakes of any variety I’ve seen here (mostly rat snakes, or “chicken snakes” as we call them here because of their fondness for eggs).

      I’ll agree with you, though. I’m not a fan of any variety, and I have jumped plenty of times.

  2. Loved this; the play against Mother and your Redhead. For sure Nature has her way with appearances and how quickly they fade into something quiet different than the beginning. Messy, tangely, ill kept. Mowing pulls it all back into perspective. Mow around the fodder of the butterfly if you can. The Redhead will understand. Tell it’s called ‘field art’.

    1. Oh I have my spots that I leave: edges, power line, etc. As long as I keep the “front side” of the place neat, I can usually get away with some chaos in the back.

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