Look closely. What do you see?
A birdbath? Some bushes? Mulch leaves? A field of purple flowers?
My father in law sees weeds...lots of them.
Not as many as he saw in a field he passed heading north last week on his way to a piece of coconut cream pie at Lee's. As he tells it, that field was covered.
I listen as he crosses his arms, telling me he's heard the weeds are getting resistant to the few remaining chemicals the government allows him to spray. He shakes his head at the thought..nothing really works anymore, not like the old chemicals did anyway.
It's a conversation "Opa" and I have at least once a year--me a staunch advocate of the "purple weed" that grows each winter while the hay lies dormant, him equally adamant about plotting its demise before it goes to seed.
It's just part of life when you live on a hay farm filled with acre upon acre of tenacious Alicia Bermuda grass. In the farm's economy, weeds lose. Grass wins.
This spring is the first year I've been able to look out my front door and enjoy the haze of purple flowers rolling out from my doorstep and across the field like a Hollywood red carpet.
It's also the first year Opa has had his grand daughter picking and bringing him these purple weed flowers, too.
Last week, he sprayed the fields, but for the first time, he left untouched the corner behind our house...so Amelia could enjoy the flowers.
This falling in love with weeds--it may sound absolutely crazy, but it's something I'm trying to teach my children...and myself--to look past the obvious to find the extraordinary God has given us.
To look not only at the blossoms that will turn into berries, but also at the tiny leaves bursting forth almost unnoticed in their shadow.
To look deep in the monochrome brown straw and leaves to uncover a tiny tip of hyacinth bulb reaching for the warming spring sun. To see not merely naughtiness in a little boy yanking mommy's few pansies off their stems, but to see his growing love for creation, too...a love that demonstrated itself for the first time today when he marched (singing and chattering) upstairs to bring me his first flower.
There's hope for all of us to just look at our world carefully, closely, more observantly this weekend....hope even for an Opa.
As I look at the purple haze still vibrant in my backyard, I smile and think maybe, just maybe, a grand daughter's love is helping him see beyond the ordinary, too.