Updated: Aug 13, 2021
I sat in my garden with a couple of friends surrounded by flowers, a birdfeeder and an arbor covered with years of wisteria that had climbed over it. As we chatted the wisteria was mentioned, quickly followed by “you know that’s a weed, right?” “No, I didn’t,” I confessed. “But it has such beautiful, purple, drippy-type flowers,” I continued. “I know, but it’s a weed, very invasive.” It was always evident to me that this vine had to be cut back often, but it never occurred to me that it might be a weed.
The thought stuck in my brain. Had I unknowingly sown a weed? I had to Google it. I began reading: “Some people consider the wisteria vine a weed. In fact, it is described as “an invasive, vigorous growing vine.” A weed indeed, I thought. I continued reading. “But throughout history, wisteria’s favorable symbolism is strong. It symbolizes love, endurance, strength, longevity, and peace. Some vines have been known to live for over 100 years.” https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm
Symbolism, now it made sense. It symbolized what I believe in, what I work towards and what has helped me get through this life: love, endurance, strength, longevity and peace. It made me think of my dad’s energy that stood strong in that arbor he built and the footstone that lays beneath it created by my cousin reflecting love in memory of my Aunt Rose.
The beauty of wisteria’s majestic purple blooms mask the intertwined years of vines struggling to find its place, struggling to reach the sun, to nourish its leaves, to feed its roots. The arduous maintenance is worth the reward; the fragrant air and cool shade retreat from summer’s scorching sun. These vines are a metaphor for life itself: staying the course, working through struggles, finding your light and reaping the rewards.
Intuitively I knew this plant belonged in the same space where friends gather, where I sit to quiet the mind; a place where energy of the heart resides.
Wisteria, invasive weed or welcomed vine? It’s all about the lens you see through.