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  • Tina Sieber

Talking with Goutweed

During our class in Nature Communication with Maia Kincaid we were talking with goutweed which was overgrowing a garden. We asked the goutweed several questions to get to know it and find out how the owner of the garden could deal with the goutweed.

When I met the goutweed, it felt very friendly and welcoming – as if the goutweed had opened the door for me. When I asked the goutweed to share about itself, it said:

“We are a family, we have made a home for ourselves here, this place has a good climate, we like it here and we are comfortable here. We are a community, a network of similar souls, and we would like to be known for hospitality and a warm welcome.”

I see a tight net of connections which is very strong and supportive – like an extended family- nobody falls out of the net.

When I asked whether it was willing to depart from the garden, I received a smile and amused answer: “We have welcomed you as a guest – and now you ask us to leave ? Why would we do that ? We like it here. We could leave if we wanted to. The owner is a lonely lady – we are giving her a sense of not being alone, a community, and also a sense of meaning for her life by looking after the garden. We are holding her.”

We then asked if there is something that could be done for the goutweed to leave, it said that fire was a possibility, as they don’t like fires and want to protect their community. Also weed-killer would work, but this would poison the soil – and the lady wouldn’t want to do that if she wanted to eat something from the garden or be in the garden.

Then it said: “Give us an alternative, we have to have a space somewhere, or bring in a companion (for the lady), ideally a few. If we see that there is a community spirit here, we don’t have to work on this task. A man would be ideal, with a straw hat. Somebody who likes working in the garden with a spade.”

The message from the Goutweed: “We are actually here to help her in her situation of loneliness and grief, to hold it together. If only she knew how much we care for her – she is an angel.” I felt tearful, emotional when the goutweed said: “We really care for her.” (29 June 2018)

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