Ruth Bebee Hill, in her book of the Lakota, Hanta Yo, first introduced me to the nonexistence of a “weed”. I was in my twenties when I first read her words and hadn’t thought of a weed in just that way before. In her dedication to authenticity, the author translated the entirety of her book to the Lakota language from English, then back to English again for publication (this has since been disputed). She stated that she had a deep sense that she had not captured the essence of the Lakota experience on her first try in English, and in learning the language, and therefore the worldview and conceptual landscape the culture lived in, she was able to give the reader a more true feel and understanding of the life and connections of the Lakota (ethnologists again disagree). No word for “weed” exists in the Lakota language (this I believe they do agree on!). They do not have a concept for a throw away or non-respected plant in their world. There is an honoring of all that is given as useful, unique and sacred. This is a good way of living on the planet.
I captured these images (slideshow will load below) in my yard and woods. Not planted and unplanned, these living wonders are gifts given by nature. Beautiful and appreciated beyond measure. Certainly not “weeds”.