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Monday morning and we awake before dawn to a very welcome rain pelting the roof above us. The rain is needed for the crops and the gardens, but it’s also a welcome sound because it means we can stay in bed a little longer.

We were out in the soy bean fields spraying the weeds almost every day this past week. That involves being in the field from early morning and working sometimes into the evening — riding up and down the rows on a trailer and squirting weed killer on each individual weed as we roll by.

The hot wind tires me out very rapidly. Also, the job gets a little boring after a while. To break the monotony I study the different kinds of weeds. Amazing how weeds are so much like people. There are the tall egotistical characters bobbing their heads up and down, wanting so much to be noticed. They stretch their bodies up so it would be most difficult to miss them. But once in a while we do, and when we look back, they seem to say, “Fooled you, huh?” Most people know them as sunflowers. There has been a big controversy around here with the farmers planting sunflowers for their oil. Neighboring farmers throw a fit because to us they are still obnoxious weeds.

There are also the defiant milkweeds. They look right at you as they say, “You have not seen the last of me.” They are right; unless you get their roots, they will be back. Then there’s the cocklebur and its happy-go-lucky attitude. They should really be called the Cocky Burr as they act like they have such a mighty force that no way will they ever become extinct. And we must never overlook those sneaky, creeping vines. They crawl along the ground and strangle the innocent standing beans. It is almost like they have their own mafia as they scheme to take over the bean field.

In the midst of all the weeds and beans there pops up a delightful bluish-white trumpet flower that I remember from my youth. It is the Morning Glory vine. It’s beautiful even though when it is in the bean field it is a pest. The sight of that beautiful trumpet shaped flower sends my mind back to the days of my early childhood.

We were pioneers on a new farm in western Iowa. I had acres of prairie sod to explore. I romped barefoot in the meadows and raced with the wind, letting the breezes blow my hair and my skirts. I was especially fascinated with the little white trumpet that lifted its head each morning to greet the sun. It knew just when to close and ready itself for a night of rest.

The world might call them weeds, but they were my friends. I could talk to them, and they would nod their heads in agreement. Those were the days when I was totally carefree and happy.

I thank God for the aptly named Morning Glory vine.

This article originally appeared in Roadrunner Extra!, the resident newsletter of Beatitudes Campus.

Patricia Jensvold

Born and educated in rural Iowa, Pat Jensvold attended Iowa State Teachers College and taught lower elementary grades.

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