One morning this summer, as I walked through the garden, I did not have a particular task in mind. I was simply looking in the beds, observing the plants, checking to see what might need to be done - both this morning and in future larger projects. I noticed a few weeds in one bed and pulled them. The tomatoes were growing nicely and I helped my daughter pick some that were higher than she could reach. Then I saw it.
The morning glory had grown up from behind the roses and now covered over half of the rose hedge. At first glance, I tend to like morning glory, the overlapping spade shaped leaves, the delicate purple flowers, the rapid growth, the impressive area a few plants can cover. However, the invasive plant quickly covers and chokes out the plants that I truly desire, the ones planted for a specific purpose, and once morning glory invades, it is exceedingly difficult to get rid of.
As I pulled out the invasive vines, I realized how much the busy-ness of my own life can become a morning glory. I can initially be impressed by the showy leaves and the small flowers, the rapid growth and impressive coverage on my calendar. Like morning glory, I can easily let busy-ness cover over and choke out the things that I truly desire, and I can find it difficult to get rid of my own busy-ness.
For me, the practices of examen, silence, and a rule of life help me to notice the invasive busy-ness and begin to remove those vines and focus on the things that are truly important.