A Necessary Dying

There are tumbleweeds that blow with heat winds.  You’ve seen them—giant skeletal balls of once-shrubs—rolling across barren land, quick with wind speed, their nothingness catching it somehow, using it to make them faster than they’d ever dared to dream, should an organism such as this, dream.

I’ve always thought them dead things, but in actuality, they are life-giving mothers on a birth mission.  Mother-smart, they detach themselves from their roots, relinquishing themselves into the wind (another mother) and let it take them, as trusting as a child.   The tumbleweed is free with purpose.

And so it tumbles—it’s in the name, after all—its emaciated tangle racing over dirt flats, all the while releasing a spawn of seeds in its path.  New, not-yet mothers.  Pods of one day sprinkled in its wake. Left for life.

 I’ve swerved to avoid them, god forbid their bony, balled frame explode against my car’s paint.  I’ve seen them piled against barbed wire fences, an atrophied orgy of a mission’s end.   I thought their nothingness was death; the thorny ghosts of a once thriving shrub, branches thick with moist green. And though it is that, it is one that spreads new life.  A necessary dying. 

All along, their appearance one synonymous loneliness; just watch any old western with tumbleweeds spinning down all towns called Ghost.  When you see a tumbleweed, it is surrounded in a silence, save that of a hollow wind. It’s reputation one of dry desolation.

This bearer of lonesome, actually a bearer of new beginnings.  Who knew? 


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