We wonder what the neighbors think.
We’ve spent the last few days making way for something new.
Sometime over the next few weeks, the Amish man we paid to build our new fence will call and tell us his crew is ready. When they’re done, we’ll have about a dozen acres of fresh, new pasture.
But like so many things, we’ve got to get rid of the old before we can start with the new.
That’s where the neighbors and their oh-so-confused view of us comes in.
Our new pasture is surrounded on two sides by a mature forest. Being who we are, we don’t want to waste an inch of grass, so we looked at the edges of the woodlot and determined the shrubby underbrush that’s quietly creeping beyond the shadows of the trees must go.
We got out the chain saw.
We hacked it down.
We piled it up… real high.
And when Mrs. Manward isn’t looking, we’re going to drop a match into it and really give the nosy neighbors something to gossip about.
There’s something odd about what we’re slashing from beneath those towering walnut and oak trees. It’s something we thought you’d be interested in. It’s something we want our readers to ponder.
That brush I’m cutting… most of it’s called Amur honeysuckle.
It’s not from around here. It’s native to Asia.
And because the trees and brush that surround it haven’t figured out how to compete with its zealous growth… the stuff takes over. It has the strength to kill mature trees. And nothing grows beneath it.
It’s got to go.
When we get it out of there, the whole forest will benefit.
As we stepped back and looked at a job, well, done (see what we did there?), we did what tends to get us in so much trouble.
We thought about how those invasive seeds got there in the first place. We thought about how the forest would react. And then, the big one, we thought about what other sorts of things are quietly invading our land.
And, no, we’re not talking about people. Don’t put that on us.
We’re talking about our thoughts… our ideas… and the myths that drive our everyday decisions.
After all, from the neighbor’s house a quarter of a mile away, those bushes we hacked looked totally fine. There was no need to slash and burn.
But when we got up close and really took a look at what was going on, we saw trouble.
A Different View
We can’t help but think it’s an apt metaphor… a metaphor worth writing you about.
It’s why we hate TV.
It’s invasive. The seeds it plants in our brain don’t belong there. They’re harmful weeds. They grow quietly until, one day, we realize nothing else is able to take root or sprout beneath them.
By then it takes a hack job to slash the junk away.
Take the hubbub last week over the daytime mind-invading show The View. The media world tripped over its thorny self after the hosts had quite a conversation with the president’s son.
Not a fact was spoken… and yet nobody cared.
The nation’s mind has been invaded, and native species like facts are no longer necessary.
The conversations that take place on that grossly misinformed set are going to steer the fate of the nation’s next election.
But it’s not just politics and the poisoned media that cover it that have a stranglehold on our psyche… Oh no, everywhere we look, the trained eye spots invaders.
The weeds have overgrown our food system.
Just the other day, we saw a package of salt that boldly boasted a “GMO-free” label.
Folks are probably buying it like crazy… and paying a premium, too.
It’s got to be healthier than the other stuff, right?
No. It’s a damned rock… It doesn’t have genetics to be modified.
Few folks care.
The weeds are thick.
It’s the same story in the realm of our health.
Cannabis has the very real potential to be one of the biggest medical breakthroughs of the 21st century… and yet the weeds in Washington are so thick, nothing short of burning the current lawbooks will free the plant from its nonnatural invaders.
The more we push ourself to think about the weeds in our mind, the more clearly we see the work that needs done.
It’s good work. But it requires some sweat.
We beg more folks to do it. Scour the edges, look for the unnatural ideas and pile ’em high.
The neighbors may think you’re a bit strange… but that’s how you’ll know when you’ve got the job done.
Once you clear yours, they’ll be forced to burn their own weeds soon enough.