Shaking clean the roots
When she left me to myself in the pakasandra I would sit on the mat she would give me – an old car floormat – and I would see the pakasandra and see the weeds among them and I would drift.
My hands would reach for the neck of a weed and I would pull, slowly, feeling the base, taking the soil with it, the gentlest of pulls, causing the faint snipping sound of the roots breaking; then it would come completely, I would fall back the smallest amount, the weed would bring soil with it and shower the pakasandra with black as I shook clean its roots. Then I’d toss it into the pile and move to the next weed.
Some required two hands. Sometimes I could do two at once. I was being paid by the hour and wanted to be in the pakasandra indefinitely. I was more thorough than I needed to be. By the end I was spending five minutes hunting for weeds remaining. I parted the pakasandra leaves to see of there were weeds beginning underneath. The dirt was so black and most. She watered it often.
And all the while I was caressing every wall of my head. I was wandering around my head, teary with joy, wistful even, loving the surfaces, the many rooms, the old rooms, and empty rooms.
–An excerpt from You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers
I always think of this excerpt when I’m weeding.
And then, I realize how much I enjoy weeding.
(Note: the proper spelling is Pachysandra. It’s a type of plant. No idea why Eggers spelled it that way.)