I awake to a quiet house. It rained all night. Heavy drops drip from the maple outside our bedroom window onto a glass-topped patio table. Our lawns lie in thick carpets from recent rains. Delphiniums have grown tall enough to peek over the fence.

Weeds like rain too. A few orange topped thistles peek from behind the hostas in the side garden. If I could banish anything from earth, it would be thistles. They spoil beautiful scenes and then stab you needle-sharp when you try to pull them from the ground.

If I were able to ban thistles, soon a thistle-lover would march through the street with banners reading, Save the Thistles.

Whatever opinion we have on a subject, someone will have an opposite opinion. What one of us hasn’t been sitting with a group in conversation when someone expresses a view contrary to ours? And we think, “Is he nuts? How could a sensible guy like him have such an off-the-wall opinion like that?” 

Sometimes I’d like to remove all opinions but mine from the earth. Then the world would, like my garden, have only the flowers I like. And no thistles. But, I like people and have a strong desire to get along so I tolerate opposing opinions. I don’t say things like, “What’s wrong with your head?” even if I’m thinking it.

But I do say “off with your heads” to the thistles in my garden.


About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at:
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