22 August 2013

Cultivating a Difference

Gardeners. Don't ask me why I'm on this kick again. But any ideas as to what be may be some of the more important things they have to teach us? 

Not so much, of course, with their conscious minds (which latter, I find, haven’t got in them nearly as much useful or valuable instruction as we too often assume). I mean rather with that part of themselves - yes, even of gardeners - which we commonly term the spirit. Though a more exhaustive description of it might include that neglected or “lost” room, somewhere in each of us, in which we are least resistant to (more helpless in the face of?) our need for God.     

But I don’t just mean any sort of gardener either. Rather that kind which tries to garden, not just for his own (landlord's) enjoyment, or that of his visitors and guests – vital as I’ll admit these factors are – but also for the pleasure, rest, even refreshment (however one may define those things) of its most permanent and continuous residents. 

Now you know when I open with a question like that, my own answer can’t be far behind. All the more reason to make my pronouns clear. What the best, most passionate, most pastoral gardeners remind me is that, yes, Man is the highest of the earth’s predators. As well as the one most intelligent, adaptive, productive and creatively resourceful. Not to mention, now that I think of it, most destructively resourceful. And relentless. At least of those visible predators on earth that we know of. And there are plenty of works, in every part and throughout many levels of the earth, that testify – quite powerfully and eloquently – to this side of his nature. But are there no others?

Aren’t there works of his which remind us that, at least on occasion, he can be something much more? Indeed (if I may venture the gradation at all) not even just more. But also, in places – in the odd garden here or there – something profoundly different from a predator. So different, in fact, as to appear almost the opposite?

Conceivably, even - in the right Hands, of course - at least as much shepherd as wolf?

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