The Write Space and Time: Nov. 30

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma

Ornamental Purselane is one of my favorite summer plantings. It just screams with vivid color in the crazy Oklahoma sun. It’s a simple flower. Easy to sustain, not overly sensitive to drought or saturation, it spreads and thickens.

The only down side is its imposter. No matter where you plant it or when, this pretend weed that looks and acts just like Ornamental Purselane roots in and grows beside it. It’s literally the spitting image of the real thing until it grows mature. Then, as it ages, its stalk gets thicker and its leaders host no blooms so you can begin to discern between the two and, subsequently, jerk it out. Unfortunately, by then, the damage is done. The good stuff is stunted.

You can’t allow the imposter to take root and roll, but neither can you yank out healthy plants just because they’re young and they haven’t bloomed yet and they might be blending in with madness. Tricky business.

In trying to get it right, I’ve ripped out the real thing on more than one occasion. It’s such a fine line.

The only way to be sure of what you have in the complex jostling for position is to pay rapt attention. Eventually the real Purselane stands out. It grows bold and separates itself, but the gardener has to keep the riff-raff out while it’s becoming.

This is what we do, we keepers of the garden. We scour to remove the junk so the good stuff can grow.

Our team just laid a giant egg. It wasn’t an egg because we lost; it was an egg because of how we played. After five games of really impressive effort and grit and chemistry, we went to Westwood and played lifelessly. We looked dumbfounded—cuckoo—like we were lost in the woods and couldn’t find the breadcrumbs.

It was ugly on every level.

So today was remove the junk day. Point out the unacceptable. Re-teach the poorly played. Save the psyche. Shock the spirit. So much good stuff is rooted in—got to give it a chance to grow.

The year is so very young and over the course of it one or the other will ultimately take over—we have a mission but so do those relentless weeds. And theirs is not akin to ours. We either nip them in the bud now or pay dearly for it later. For without intentional pruning, painful though it may be, the garden never blooms.