The Way of Weeds

01-23 Weeds

The landscape of her childhood had been picked clean; long ago cleared of all memories- good and bad.  Now, some thirty years later, memories poked through weak spots in her consciousness, like weeds do in the weeks following a soaking rain.

She had been strolling along the banks of the Rio Grande.  Before long, she walked through the weeds that reminded her of wheat stalks.  Pieces worked their way into her socks and poked the soft skin on the side of her ankles, rubbing against her tennis shoes with every step.

She had felt this discomfort before.

She sat in a nearby clearing and removed her shoe, just as she had done many times, many years ago.  With her forefinger and thumb, she pulled at the fluffy stickers.  She set each of them on the ground beside her in an evenly spaced row.  A flicker of recognition, dread washed over her just as it had that day when his footsteps drew near.

Her heart pounded as she remembered her refusal of his help.  He insisted.

Just then, a gust of wind blew through the trees and swirled the dirt around her into a dust devil.  She closed her eyes to the grit and didn’t open them until the winds calmed again.

A smile crept across her face.  She remembered the first time she’d seen a dust devil.  She had stared in awe at the swirling mass of dirt and leaves.  Defying gravity, the debris remained suspended for what seemed like five minutes, mesmerizing her into a trance.

It was only now, all these years later, that she learned to appreciate the beauty of a rooted weed.


39 thoughts on “The Way of Weeds

  1. rebecca2000 January 23, 2013 / 1:01 AM

    Wonderful imagery. I felt like I was there.

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2013 / 8:55 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Suzicate. I saw this picture when I was renaming and organizing images that I have let pile up for the last six months. I decided it needed a story (so I still have three months of images to deal with!)

  2. JasmineKyleSings January 23, 2013 / 6:37 AM

    Love this! Weeds growing through the cracks! I can’t tell if it should be liberating or frustrating?

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2013 / 8:56 PM

      I think weeds are frustrating when you try to extinguish them. Liberating when you just let them be (kind of like memories…which is where I was sort of going with this one :)) Thanks for stopping by, Jasmine!

      • JasmineKyleSings January 24, 2013 / 5:06 PM

        Your so welcome jo

  3. newwhitebear January 23, 2013 / 9:33 AM

    Your image is really wonderful. You are fabulous.

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2013 / 8:57 PM

      Thanks for the huge compliment, Newwhitebear. I do appreciate you dropping by 🙂

  4. Debbie January 23, 2013 / 12:03 PM

    I’ve seen dirt devils, but only on TV. Fascinating imagery here, Janna!

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2013 / 8:59 PM

      It’s funny, this story is combination of made up stuff and real memories (the stickers in my socks – totally real. They used to make me so mad!) Dust devils are cool to watch – from a distance. Thanks for taking time to read the story, Debbie!

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2013 / 8:59 PM

      True – I have seen some beautiful weeds, Carl 🙂

  5. diannegray January 23, 2013 / 1:44 PM

    I loved the imagery here, Janna. This is beautiful 😉

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2013 / 9:00 PM

      Thanks, Dianne! It’s more descriptive than I usually do, so it was a fun exercise.

  6. Tessa January 23, 2013 / 2:55 PM

    I was waiting for him to come walking through again. Wonderful job!

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2013 / 9:02 PM

      I thought about it, but then I decided to leave it at the familiarity of the row of stickers triggering the memory of him. Thanks for reading it and sharing your thoughts, Tessa!

  7. pattisj January 23, 2013 / 4:22 PM

    Hopefully he was gone with the wind. 😉 I so clearly remembered the sensation of stickers in socks and rubbing the tender skin as I read that.

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2013 / 9:04 PM

      I’m glad it conjured up a realistic memory from my description, Patti. Those things were soooo annoying! He is one of the memories she tried to forget, but like weeds, he sprouts back into her mind.

  8. nrhatch January 23, 2013 / 5:04 PM

    Spectacular images, Janna! Your writing has real life to it. Well done.

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2013 / 9:04 PM

      Thanks, Nancy! It was a little different than my usual, but it was fun. When I saw the picture, I thought I’d write a poem…that didn’t quite happen 🙂

  9. coyotero2112 January 23, 2013 / 10:51 PM

    The imagery is so poetic, and your writing leans towards prose. If I may, I’d like to suggest two prose poets – Nin Andrews and Tim Seibles. I’ve met both of these people, and not only are they exeptional people, but they are pretty much considred the two premier prose poets working in the U.S. today. Nin is pure genius. Her first work, “The Book of Orgasms” has been translated into so many languages it’s silly. Her collection…”Mid-life Crisis with Dick and Jane,” I think, is about enough to make you bust a blood vessel. She just sent me her “Sleeping with Houdini”, and it’s just as good, although not as humorous. Tim is the next best thing…just brilliant. Try them – hope you do, and hope you get some inspiration from them. You got the touch. Keep writing, I’ll keep reading.

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2013 / 11:25 PM

      Thanks for the suggestions on those poets. I’m not familiar with them but will check them out. I’ve never intentionally written prose poetry, so I am curious to read what ‘real’ poets write 😀 I appreciate you taking the time to leave your encouraging comment. Thanks, Coyotero!

  10. Widdershins January 24, 2013 / 1:26 AM

    I’m liking the deep and dark places your writing is going these days … nicely done!

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2013 / 9:21 PM

      Thanks, Widdershins. The darkness isn’t intentional, though 🙂

  11. buffalostarmedicine January 24, 2013 / 9:32 AM

    I like the imagery. It’s gripping and inspiring. The concept of weeds….hmmm, I’m sitting and thinking about what I’m going to speak when I speak at church next time… Now, I’m contemplating weeds…go figure….

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2013 / 9:22 PM

      Thanks, Buffalostarmedicine! I’m glad you liked the imagery and took time to let me know. I bet you could speak eloquently of weeds 🙂

  12. Tori Nelson January 24, 2013 / 10:06 AM

    Janna, this is an amazing piece of writing. That opening line snagged me immediately.

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2013 / 9:23 PM

      Thanks, Tori! Funny thing is, I set out to write a short 2 or 3 line poem for the picture. Didn’t quite work out as planned 🙂

  13. C.S. Severe January 24, 2013 / 11:44 AM

    My surroundings turn silent and my mind zooms in whenever I read your writing. It’s just that captivating. Thank you!

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2013 / 9:24 PM

      Your comment made me smile, C.S. Thank you so much for reading and offering your support 🙂

  14. timkeen40 January 24, 2013 / 7:42 PM

    Powerful stuff. A memory cannot be suppressed. It will come back to haunt or enrich you forever and ever. Whether it haunts or enriches you, is up to you, I think.


    • jannatwrites January 25, 2013 / 9:25 PM

      You’re right, Tim! When writing this, I was thinking about how much some people try to bury memories, but they always come back. If we just let memories be, they wouldn’t be so much of a nuisance.

  15. pattyabr January 25, 2013 / 8:33 PM

    I’ve had those “weeds” poke through my socks and pant legs before too.

    • jannatwrites January 25, 2013 / 9:26 PM

      Those weeds can be buggers to get out, Patty. It’s like they hook into the fabric.

  16. agjorgenson January 27, 2013 / 11:08 AM

    Lovely! It brought memories to my senses.

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 10:13 PM

      Thanks, Agjorgenson! It’s always nice to find out that a piece of writing could do that 🙂

  17. Imelda January 27, 2013 / 12:25 PM

    Beautiful. This is a lovely growing up vignette. ::-)

    • jannatwrites January 27, 2013 / 10:15 PM

      Thanks so much, Imelda. I liked it because it was a combination of real experience (with the stickers) and fictional occurrences.

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