Guidelines: From the Ashes

weed-burn.jpg

By Simon Ambit

There can be no argument that cutting weeds is a not a particularly fun task. However, to a boy with an excuse to hack something to the ground and then pile it up and light it on fire, it seemed like an adventure worth taking.

And so, with hatchets swinging from their belts, their favorite beanie atop their heads and a pair of gloves covering their mischievous little paws, my three young weed vikings followed me out into the east pasture to clear some herbivorous pests from their area of demise. With plans to plant the area next year in grass and alfalfa, we set out to chop down and burn the outcroppings of the unwanted foes. As hatchets begin to swing and weeds began to fall, we stacked the fallen plants atop one another in a central pile and began burning the noxious nuisances to ashes.

As the flames grew, so did the excitement of the boys. The chore instantly became a game, a race to feed the fire and to stay ahead of the engulfing flames! Soon, our enforcement grew and we were able to add a second regiment as the neighbor kids joined in. Within a short time, the forces of the kosha weeds, the barrage of rabbit-brush and the opposing stronghold of the Russian olive were all cut down to size and were nothing more than a smoldering pile of coals and ash.

It was at this point that my weed mitigation crew became campfire chefs. Out of the weed work came hot dogs, marshmallows and Starbursts. Fastening each item to the end of an un-burned twig or willow, lunch was smoked and served!

These little weed soldiers taught me that life is good, even when it involves cutting down weeds. They also taught me that, although we have unwanted weeds in our lives, we can not only rid our ground of the weeds; we can use them to better ourselves. The weeds were hewn down and then transformed into fire, heat, coals, hot food, a tasty treat and energy.

The pasture was soon clear of the undesirables, the ashes were spread around to be tilled under to fertilize the soil and the boys and I were filled with a memory, some lunch and a tasty snack. It took some hard work, some fun times and some young creative minds, but the improvement was made and everything became better because of it.

May we all look forward to the future by putting forth the efforts needed to burn the weeds that may cumber our lives and our pasts. Let the ashes feed our future, let them nourish our improvement, so that we can grow and gain, always moving forward. Life is good!