Kudzu - the innocent vine introduced to Southeastern USA to help stop soil erosion.
But the southern soil and weather conditions were just too perfect and the kudzu began to grow and grow - sometimes as much as one foot in one day! Kudzu (the vine that ate the south) has now been declared a "pest weed" as it has taken over the landscape and its destructive effects have begun to choke the trees.
As I traveled through Georgia and Alabama recently, I couldn't help but marvel at the miles and miles of endless vines. Kudzu can cover trees so completely that they look like some sort of scary monster in the dim light of dusk. It struck me that sometimes in our lives things take on a life of their own - just like kudzu - and that getting rid of them can seem overwhelming.
Where in your life do you have some kudzu growing? A seemingly innocent project perhaps that has grown out of control? A life so filled with "busy work" that it feels, much like the trees that the kudzu grows on, that you are almost out of oxygen? Has the kudzu in your life taken over?
5 ways to deal with your life's kudzu
1. Celebrate: Celebrate the things you love about your life's kudzu. What does it give you? Why did you plant it in the first place?
2. Prune Your Kudzu: If eliminating it seems overwhelming, try a little pruning. Work from the root and cut your life's kudzu into bite sized pieces so that you can eliminate it one stem at a time.
3. Get Creative: Does your life's kudzu have another purpose? One that perhaps you didn't think of when you started "planting"? Is it possible that the "new" purpose might make it unnecessary to eradicate the weed? (btw the kudzu vine is now being used for food, medicine and crafts)
4. Spray some round-up: If you forget what your life looked like without kudzu then it may be time to take some drastic action. What if you just said "enough"? If your kudzu were gone, what would there be new "space" for in your life?
5. Acceptance: You may need to accept that a certain amount of kudzu will always be part of your life. Take a deep breath and enjoy the blossoms when they bloom.
And if none of the above work - you might want to consider doing what the Southerners to do at night to keep the kudzu out - just close your windows!!!
"In Georgia, the legend says
That you must close your windows
At night to keep it out of the house.
The glass is tinged with green, even so..."
-from the poem, "Kudzu" by James Dickey