Vol.XII No.I Pg.8
March 1975

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

When Vivian and I built a house in Burnet we called it Rocky Roost, II and tried to make it as natural as possible. (Thats the in thing, you know.) We used rocks to line a driveway, and to bound a mini-desert section. The carport is hooked around an ivy-covered spanish oak, and senesia and wild algarita bushes serve as the shrubs. Scorpions in the house are a nuisance (especially in shoes), and Vivian insisted I kill the rattlesnake in the flower bed; but trying to keep the lawn is the Jonah.

By design, it is a beautiful green oasis, well trimmed, in the midst of the wilds of nature. I thought the contrast would be striking. Actually, it is a weed patch surrounded by weed patches. The red ants that carried off my expensive grass seed must have brought grass burrs in exchange. We try to chop and hoe the weeds while we fertilize and water the grass, but apparently things are getting a bit confused. Now it seems our best out is to brag about our wild flowers and cut them just often enough to get through to the door. We are learning that au natural and well dressed are two conditions, oft incompatible.

Hearing rumors that we were untidy prompted a profound philosophical lesson from our weeds. Careful research reveals that weeds and loose talk are of the same genus, if not of the same species. This is the way they work.

Weeds, and gossip, seem to sense a couldnt care less attitude, and will not grow well under such conditions. They thrive on just enough attention to challenge them — not quite enough to root them out. You admire the flowers so you leave them for a time, and they go to seed. A less-than-fatal weedkiller does something for their ego, and they work overtime to out-do you. Pour oil on a few big ones, and they reappear as a lot of little ones; that spread into areas once cleared. Like sand spurs, if you clip their tops they make burrs close to the ground, ready to mature soon after the mower is past. Burrs must be cleaned from your boots regularly or they will infect other areas, including your living room carpet.

Eventually we must learn that an air-conditioned brick house is not natural, and that to survive we must control both nature and tongue. Living in keeping with the nature of God is the kind of ecology that will prepare our soul for heaven.