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:-) I tend to look at the cracks and think about how much they'll cost to repair. I don't think the freeways and parking lots are going away anytime soon. I do sometimes look at dandelions invading a lawn and root (pun unintended) for them, because there's nothing about plain grass that is more useful than a big field of flowering weeds would be. An edible garden, on the other hand...

Of all the things you've written since I've started reading your blog, this is the piece that grabs me most. Since seeing a copse of trees growing in an abandoned rail yard in a dying, industrial, harborside town I've been rooting for the weeds, too. Its comforting to know that whatever we do, ultimately, we are no match for the earth.


Pete Seeger so eloquently expressed this in the song "god bless the grass" (though I believe it was actually written by Malvina Reynolds).

Some places you can find it:
God Bless the Grass - Reynolds, Malvina

Winds of the People, Sing Out, Sof (1982), p 29 ;

Blood, Peter; and Annie Patterson (eds.) / Rise Up Singing, Sing Out, Sof (1989/1992), p 35 ;

Reynolds, Malvina. Held Over, Cassandra CFS-3688, LP (1975), cut# 8;

Reynolds, Malvina. Malvina Reynolds .....Sings the Truth, Columbia CL 2614, LP (1966), cut#A.05;

Seeger, Pete. Banks of Marble, Folkways FTS 31040, LP (1974), cut#A.02.

You can also find it on the essential Pete Seeger.


The weeds will eventually win...I usually root for the underdog.


Life always finds a way.


That is so weird, Sherry. I was having similar thoughts the other day. My bf and I were sitting in the car in the shade behind a KFC and there was an old brick furniture store, abandoned and just completely covered in ivy. And I thought, "that is what will happen, when we're all long gone. All these buildings will get covered in the green and pretty soon, you won't even know we were here." And it made me feel relief. I hope it's true.

Carol Anne

Pat and I once lived in an apartment complex in southeast Houston, inside a bend in Sims Bayou. It was a beautiful location, with lots of wildlife to observe, especially considering it was in the middle of an urban area. We had egrets, turtles, otters, and even the occasional alligator. It did, however, flood once in a while, so the residents of the ground floor (we weren't among them; we were on the second floor) would occasionally suffer losses.

We moved to New Mexico in the early 1980s. Pat got a job working at a national laboratory, and in order for him to get a security clearance, the FBI had to interview a statistically significant sampling of people who had been our neighbors within the past ten years. When the investigators went to interview our neighbors in the apartment complex, they discovered that the complex no longer existed -- it had been condemned by the Houston Flood Control Authority.

At the time, I had mixed but mostly positive thoughts. I was sad that a place that I had lived in and that was a very pleasant place to live no longer existed. However, I could also see that it was good to remove buildings that were prone to flooding and that taxpayers would be called upon repeatedly to rebuild. Much better to replace that with a park, open space that could improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.

A few years later, I returned to the spot, and I was appalled. The apartment complex had been demolished, but instead of green open space, there was a vacant lot with a gash of a rip-rap-lined channel running straight through the middle where the buildings used to be. The place had become a dump, literally -- discarded furniture and tires were more common than trees and bushes. The most abundant wildlife was fire ants. There were no egrets, no otters, no turtles, and absolutely no alligators.

Yeah, I like the weeds too.

God Bless the Grass

by Malvina Reynolds

God bless the grass that grows through the crack.
They roll the concrete over it to try and keep it back.
The concrete gets tired of what it has to do,
It breaks and it buckles and the grass grows thru,
And God bless the grass.

God bless the truth that fights toward the sun,
They roll the lies over it and think that it is done
It moves through the ground and reaches for the air,
And after a while it is growing everywhere,
And God bless the grass.

God bless the grass that breaks through cement,
It's green and its tender and it's easily bent,
But after a while it lifts up its head,
For the grass is living and the stone is dead.
And God bless the grass.

God bless the grass that's gentle and low
Its roots they are deep and its will is to grow.
And God bless the truth, the friend of the poor,
And the wild grass growing at the poor man's door,
And God bless the grass


Great post. I'd say the glass is damn near over flowing in a fatalistic kind of way...

Nancy Drew

You should watch the movie "Habitat". I love this post so much I have been thinking about it alot. Nature is fighting back against us and someday it will win. Go weeds!


"River of Orchids" by XTC -

"I had a dream where the car is reduced to a fossil
I had a dream where the car is reduced to a fossil
Take a packet of seeds, take yourself out to play
I want to see a river of orchids where we had a motorway

It's all in your back yard
Push your car from the road
You've the whole world at your feet
Said the grass is always greener when it bursts up through concrete

Elite concrete

A picture would enhance this article.

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