The Burning Bush

Gardens in summer are wonderful: beautiful flowers, fresh-cut grass and everything is lush and green. There is absolutely nothing negative about the season... except gardening. Don’t misunderstand, I enjoy cutting the grass and some maintenance, but weeding is just not my thing. It’s for that reason I am always looking for new and improved ways complete this chore in the fastest possible way. Finally. I have found it... or so I thought.

In one of my many treks to my local hardware store I noticed, sitting alone in a corner, almost calling out to me, was a weed burner. For those of you not familiar with the device, it is a rod, about the size and shape of a walking cane, with a small propane tank on the curved end. A turn of the knob and a flick of the switch and presto, out comes a flame. Then, all you do is simply walk across a stone path and hover over each weed. They quickly limp, turn brown in a day or two and disappear within a week, never to return.

This, in my opinion, is the greatest invention since or even beyond, sliced bread. Weeding my walkways is now not only a shorter task, but it’s fun. It was a battle of me against them and I was winning. I found myself challenging the small, green growths as I conquered them in their tracks, threatening them to never return and alas, they didn't.

That is, until one day, just after we had replaced our deck with a composite one. I was again engaged in my weekend quest of finding new enemies among my stones and destroying them expediently. Deep entranced in my mission I suddenly noticed an odour in the air, similar to that of a campfire. It took a moment to register and when I turned around I was stunned by a small, evergreen shrub with massive billows of black smoke rising upward from its centre.

I froze for a second and then my quick witted mind sprang into action. I ran to the corner and grabbed the garden hose, pointing it at the now blazing bush. I squeezed the nozzle and... nothing. 'Turn on the water,' I told myself. I raced back to the tap, turned it quickly and began to douse the flames, mentally comparing my actions to those of a fire fighter (on a much smaller scale).

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, the fire was out, but my bush was ruined. I looked at the fiasco and realized if it had gone another minute my new, plastic deck would have begun to melt, or worse, become a blazing nightmare. However, all was well and, after my trembling stopped, I re-evaluated the weed burner, the once wonderful invention. Would I throw it away? Instinctively yes, but I pondered and not unlike falling from a bike or being tossed by a horse, the key is to continue as soon as you can in order to master the fear.

I still burn my weeds regularly, but do it quietly. What was recently a victorious quest has been diminished to a defeated chore, knowing that my once triumphant arrogance has been undermined by the strength and retaliation of nature. I stare at the remnants of my small bush, nothing more than a few charred sticks and can't help but wonder if perhaps Moses had also discovered my invention.

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