Today as I took out the recycling to the receptacle in the alley, I stopped to notice the weeds that inevitably grow up in the little strip of soil between the pavement and the retaining wall in our backyard.
It's so ordinary that it often goes unnoticed, but it's wondrous that life is so persistent, isn't it? That something will find a way to live in any little bit of dirt that gets watered by the rain?
The spiny specimen above seems well-suited for its inhospitable environment. As if it knows it's unloved and unwanted, it bristles menacingly, threatening to sting those who might casually try to pluck it.
Meanwhile, this weed, an unauthorized occupant of a more privileged space (the elevated flowerbed atop the retaining wall), gamely emulates the florid attractions that earn other plants the right to be there:
And these intrepid leaves poke up through the barest crack in the concrete, scrabbling out a photosynthetic subsistence:
Life, inexorably it seems, seeks to thrive wherever it can—just as the human mind, perhaps just as inexorably, seeks to make meaning and metaphor out of whatever comes into its purview.