Friday, July 4, 2008

Phlox tribute


Phlox tribute
Originally uploaded by stratoz
After gardening at work and home this spring it was truly strange to leave them to listen to jazz, and then to be silent retreat guy. I did lose some sleep the first night at the retreat center, but an e-mail to a friend at work was what the doctor ordered. It turned into a family affair as her sister, mom and dad would visit the garden in the evening to give the plants some water. In gratitude I said, "some weeding would have been nice."

Mosaic woman kept an eye on things at home, and every night when I briefly broke silence, usually in the UCC cemetery next to the Jesuits, she would tell me that no rain had fallen. She also told me what was flowering, and what looked ill.

Returning home, I stopped by the school, watered inside my classroom, and checked in with Mosaic Woman as I walked about the veggies. I told the plants I would be back and headed home. At home I checked out the garden, and looked up what appeared to be causing the illness.

The next two mornings I spent gardening at the school, trying to get caught up a bit, but could not go out into my own garden, because I knew what I had to do. I had to kill a plant. On Wednesday, I threw it into the garbage.

Earlier in human history including Biblical times it would have been burnt which is what Jesus says will happen to those vines that don't produce. I don't see it as hell, just using best horticultural practices in his metaphor.

And removing that plant was humane. The plant was going to die, and letting it live out it's days only threatened the health of those around it. Luckily for us, there is something called forgiveness. We can get as spiritually diseased as we can manage, but God will take us back. There was and are times in my life when I am not exactly bearing good fruit. I hope God remembers the fig tree, so that I will have an advocate that says, "give it another year. Lets give it some manure (Love) and see what comes forth."

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