A little dancing sister.

…Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate. This gives to the typically Christian pleasure in this earth a strange touch of lightness that is almost frivolity. Nature was a solemn mother to the worshipers of Isis and Cybele. Nature was a solemn mother to Wordsworth or to Emerson. But Nature is not solemn to Francis of Assisi or to George Herbert. To St. Francis, Nature is a sister, and even a younger sister: a little, dancing sister, to be laughed at as well as loved.

        ― G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

I’ve been enjoying my little sister in the garden this week. It started with a long weeding session, during which I rescued the sweet peas from a weed of which I don’t know the name. Does one of you know it?


It’s been growing taller than the peas, and even though I made some nice trellising for them, they have been confused by these weeds and are trying to climb on them instead.

The green and trailing weed is also flowering before the sweet peas bloom, and is not in any way an unpleasant weed to deal with.

How about this weed? Maybe someone can tell me its real name. We call it The Scattery Weed, because before the seeds are obviously ripe, when the plant still looks small and innocent, it waits with secret menace for the gardener to stroll by and brush it with her shoe or hand, then !!explosion!! of seeds in a several-foot radius.

I probably shouldn’t use the word menace when talking about my little sister. In this case she is only doing what is in her nature, and doing a good job of bearing many children for next year’s springtime.


I found more signs of spring while I was out there, like this oxalis blooming among the violets…

…plum blossoms decorating violets, and the violets springing up tall to decorate an irrigation head.

Above is a field of manzanita blossoms fallen from the bush to make way for berries, and hanging over them are snowdrops, truly looking like little sisters dancing in their pretty spring petticoats.

I finished my garden work just ahead of the steady rain we’ve been getting today. God is watering the earth and sending His rain “on the just and the unjust.” Thank You, Lord!

Linking up to Weekends With Chesterton.




13 thoughts on “A little dancing sister.

  1. The first weed looks like chickweed, but nor so sure about the other. Lovely to see your green. Our daffodils are up a couple of inches, but still, it was 19degrees a few minutes ago. Shiver!

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  2. I love that quote and I like little sister better than Mother. Only G.K. could say it so clearly.

    Well I have no idea what that weed is called my kids always called it chick weed because the chickens loved it so much. I always am excited to see it in my flowerbeds because my chickens just devour it. It is always the first green around here well that and the stinging nettle which I do love for tea. It is for me the best spring tonic.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.

    I am glad you are getting rain already.

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  3. What a cheering post! I'm very ready for spring and to get to work in my garden. Today we're having a big load of leaf compost delivered, and I hope this weekend we'll get the peas and sugarsnaps planted.

    I don't know the name of your weeds, though one looks familiar. We have a tiny-leafed crawling weed that makes me weep, it's so prolific. But it's beautiful, too. In another context, I'd probably love it.

    xofrances

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  4. I very much like that GK quote, Gretchen. She is a very nice sister, Miss Nature. I think I could plant sweet peas today, because the weather has warmed a bit. Your garden is sprouting very pretty green stuff!

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  5. I recognize both those weeds readily but have no clue about the names. I'm pretty bad with plant names. I always think of Nature as our home, the perfect setting for us to live in. But sometimes Nature is surely whimsical, dancing, frolicking like a little sister 🙂

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  6. Thank you all for your weed help. I've used your leads to do more investigation, and found that the first weed, by the sweet peas, is definitely chickweed. The “scattery weed” is definitely not pickleweed, if I am to go by the Wikipedia entry, which says that pickleweed can refer to either of two plants, neither of which looks anything like “my” weed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickleweed

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