The Wild Amidst the Cultivated

For the two years we’ve lived in this house, we have been fighting wild blackberry bushes in our landscaping.  In nearly every bed we have, there is a growth of wild blackberries that pops up.  Each year my husband tears them out, sprays them, otherwise tries to cause their demise.  And every spring, they return.

And quite honestly, I delight in this.  I am torn by the fact that something so beautiful and quite frankly, so yummy, isn’t desired in our “cultivated” beds. In the landscaping of our neighborhood, they are most definitely considered undesirable. But who says? Who says I can’t let those wild, hardy, determined bushes do their thing?  They provide a practical, sustenance-rich, fantastical treat.  Granted, the birds might beat me to the luscious berries, but shouldn’t someone get to enjoy the fruit, especially if they are willing to take on the thorns? And we’re supposed to tear them out? Why, because we didn’t plant them there? Because they are wild?


Every year I see them, and I see myself a little (and others like me).  That wild, rough around the edges, not quite cultured or polished , doesn’t have it all together, often gets it wrong girl that lies at the heart of who I am. In the cultivated setting that is our world, where everyone seems properly maintained, thoroughly trimmed and neatly kept, here I sit.  All white wild blooms that give way to deep purple, nearly black fruit, protected by thorns, and totally impossible to predict. Those bushes pop up where they want. They aren’t bound by black landscaping plastic or deterred by the bricks neatly outlining the flowerbeds.  They won’t be contained, controlled, or convinced that they don’t belong.  And I love it!!!

The rich sweetness of the fruit; the way they taste when the sun has warmed them – so lovely!  And so are we, those wild things growing in unexpected places.  Like little reminders that there is more to life than order and routine.  There is beauty in the planned, manipulated and manicured, but there is also much to be said for the God-given perfection in those wild, tangled messes. In the midst of the cultivated, be something wild and sweet.  Pop up in people’s lives and offer them goodness. Remind them what an unexpected gift little things can be. Don’t be bound by the markers of a flowerbed someone else designed. We were made for something more!!




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