Why Welcome Some Weeds into Your Garden of Life?

Weed Appreciation Day Holiday

Have you ever had a child run up to you with a beaming smile on her face holding up a fistful of yellow dandelions? That child sees the beauty in the bright yellow color and is filled with wonderment and excitement in offering you this wonderful bunch of flowers, or are they weeds? What are they? How do we accept them, like flowers or weeds?

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What really is a weed? The definition of a weed that my dad implanted in my mind when I was a child is that a weed is anything that he did not plant. Therefore, are weeds bad and something that should be yanked out of the ground?

In my book, I’m Not A Weed, Suzy sunflower blows into a perennial garden. Mr. Gardener considers her a weed. But Mrs. Gardener loved that sunflower! Suzy declares herself not a weed. Who is right?

The only difference between a flower and a weed is a judgement, according to Dr. Wayne Dyer. Is this how we live life? Do we reject the unplanned events in life, or do we accept them, not always exactly with open arms? Do we make judgement on situations, often those we don’t understand, some that are not inclusive of others?  I think the answer is, it depends.

Look at the bouquet of dandelions that little girl so proudly picked. Dandelions are edible from root to flower and used in many gourmet salads. Some people even make wine, soups, and tea out of dandelions. They are also used as skin toner, along with circulation and digestive tonics. There are also claims of its use in urinary tract infections and cancer.

But there are many weeds that are toxic. These weeds can steal water, sunlight, and nutrients from the soil. Some even release poisonous chemicals into the dirt that inhibit the growth of other plants. Some weeds once they take root, can take over and kill wanted vegetables and flowers.

Just like weeds in a garden, unplanned events need to be assessed. This is especially difficult for me. I was a certified project manager for over 30 years and unplanned events like scope creep, increase in expenses, and schedule delays are not something desired. It is difficult for me to be spontaneous and accept unplanned events.

There are many unplanned, life impacting situations that occur. In fact, there are probably more unplanned events in life than planned. Many times, we perceive these events as negatives at first but then, like a dandelion, they may become something beneficial or to be treasured later. These events can be simple things or bigger things, everything from a death of a friend, an unplanned pregnancy, a new kid at school, a job loss, or winning the lottery! Then again, some of these events after consideration may always be considered negative.

But these unplanned events need to be looked at with open hearts and minds. Would you reject that bouquet of dandelions in the fist of the little girl as she holds it up to you to take? Can that unplanned event be a blessing in disguise? Can this loss of job end up leading to an opportunity that fills a passion or lifelong desire? Or can this new relationship become toxic and destroy or choke the life out of you and all that you are doing. Can the death of a loved one lead to actions that can help save or improve the lives of others, allowing their heart and spirit to live forever?

Just like a gardener needs to manage weeds in the garden, we also need to manage weeds or unplanned events in our life. There may be times when we need to open our arms and welcome something or someone new into our life. We need to listen to where we are being led and be accepting to new possibilities. At the same time, depending on the situation, we need to keep our eyes open and ensure that whatever this unplanned event happens to be, that it is something that will  allow us to positively thrive and grow.

I'm NOT A Weed Book
Author Book

Why would Mr. Gardener consider Suzy sunflower a weed when a sunflower is not a weed? She wasn’t part of his planned perennial garden so by that definition, she was a weed. And let’s face it, sunflowers are hardy and do spread quickly. They sometimes can be difficult to manage. For these reasons also, they often get labeled, a weed.

Weed Appreciation Day is March 28. Go out and hug a weed. Appreciate those unplanned events in your life that keep your life interesting, challenging, and often, rewarding! See the flower in the weed. You make that judgement call.




Sonja Wendt

Enhancing children’s sensitivity in human interactions one story at a time.

Sonja Wendt


©2021 sonjalangewendt

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