These Japanese knotweed specimens are about 5″ in length. Most of the stem is underground and will break off from the root with the slightest tug. And then the knot remains in the soil, so happily ready to go deeper and to regenerate upwards again – to proceed to become impossible to eradicate. The leaf, the stem, any part that is left behind can come back. If you see the plant full-grown, towering 10′- 15′ tall, you know that it is that deep in the soil too. It’s invasive.
I spent a morning surveying my property – anywhere the soil had been disturbed by human movement – and pulled up these little signs that got transmitted inadvertently. I don’t want the knotweed on my land so I watch for it.
But the other day, I happened to be in the local health food store. As I was leaving, something caught my eye: on the shelf of herbal remedies, there sits “knotweed”. Knotweed?
This morning, I looked it up on the internet. The invasive weed that is such a pest once it takes hold is actually medicinal. Knotweed carries cures for lyme disease, cardiovascular difficulties, Alzheimer’s, inflammation… Wha-a-a-at? Is that mind-boggling? Can this plant that will take over and prove impossible to eradicate also be so beneficial to the body?
I see how I want to conveniently label something only evil. Only worthless. I want to feel that assured, that KNOWING. It’s BAD. And then, I find out that this bad thing has a huge upside. Under different circumstances this plant is revered.
I wonder: could this be metaphorical?
Like, when I’m going through something tough; when life only seems lousy. When there’s no upside. Then, lo and behold, time passes – days, months, maybe years – and I look back. What seemed so dark, so wrong is now re-evaluated. Seen in a new light. I now describe that same time as valuable.
Why can’t life be simple, I wonder. Why can’t I reach that “place” of peace and goodness and live there all the time? Why the darn journey: where bad is good/ with all that ongoing untangling. That knotweed.
What to do?