Destroying to Protect Creation

by Khet Mar    /  September 1, 2009  / 1 Comment

translated by Aung Aung Taik

About ten days later after battling the weeds in my garden, I began to see the little reddish sprouts of lettuce. The green peas were perhaps shy at the beginning; just one or two came out.

Since I had never seen a turnip plant, it was difficult to know which sprouts were turnips and which ones were weeds. Then again, I saw places where the seeds I had laid were germinating. What a pleasant mood they put me in!

Since it rained every two or three days, I did not have to give special care to the garden. However, my daily task was to fervently dig out the ever-growing, useless creepers with my three-pronged fork. They are fast to grow, and fast to destroy other plants. Some must have fallen as I carried the uprooted ones to the garbage, because the next day I found the roots were already clinging to the surface of the ground.

Every day, I wrestled with these pests. The weeds were not only ready to rise from death, they were also difficult kill. My neighbors and passersby must have been thinking, “This woman, stooping on her knees every day, is doing serious gardening!” They did not know I was pulling out plants, not planting them.

My saga turned into jubilation as I saw the little plants finally grow larger and larger each day. It improved my outlook as I realized that cultivating goodness includes protecting the process of growth. My weeding efforts were essential to the welfare of my garden.

The wild flowers that Jana did not pull out are now in full blossom with beautiful purple flowers. The lettuce is now about an inch high. The turnips and the green peas are growing well.  And the lone beet grown from one we bought at the supermarket, is now fluttering with leaves.

In the evening when my sons come home from school, we go to the garden.  The two of them connect the long hose to the faucet to water the plants. I, holding the three-pronged trowel, am ready for the search and destroy mission. As much as I will enjoy the bounties that are to come from my garden, I am at present enjoying the role of the terminator of the wicked weeds.

Click here to read Khet Mar’s bio.

About the Author

Khet Mar is a staff writer at Sampsonia Way. A former writer-in-residence at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, Khet Mar is a journalist, novelist, short story writer, poet, and essayist from Burma. She is the author of one novel, Wild Snowy Night, as well as several collections of short stories, essays and poems. Her work has been translated into English and Japanese, been broadcast on radio, and made into a film. In the fall of 2007, Mar was a visiting fellow at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

View all articles by Khet Mar

One Comment on "Destroying to Protect Creation"

  1. Gavin September 10, 2009 at 9:01 am ·

    What a wonderful account of the situation we gardeners find ourselves in on a daily basis in the North Side!

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