Wednesday, February 03, 2010
THIS GARDEN IS YOUR SOUL
With the day light hours on the increase, everything inside me begins to stir. I know what's coming. But when it comes to the natural world that I can feel and touch and enjoy, and yes, sometimes wrestle with, there is nothing more important to me than people. To interact with others is what I live for. To have the opportunity to do that in a healthy way with others is what I long for. I'm grateful to be able to say that that experience is on what feels like as sure a path as is the coming spring. The movement is in the right direction.
And then there is this space that teaches me so much about the process of two steps forward and one step back, or as Anne Lamott says, the scootch, scootch, stall, scootch, stall, catastrophic reversal; bog, bog, scootch process that is GRACE. This is life, the wonderful, sometimes painful experience of learning to live with ourselves and others. And yet there is never a time it's not beautifully in process. As there also seems to never be a time that flawed humans aren't making it more difficult and more painful for ourselves and others than it has to be.
The ease and beauty of a fresh spring garden soon gives way to the reality that the garden exists under pressure, in an environment that is far from a perfect environment. But with the loving attention of a gardener who cares, the struggle can be eased and the stress can be minimized and as the season progresses the garden with all it's flaws can still shine. In a way, even with a garden as is true with us humans, the limp seems to add to the beauty and the experience. It also has a way of keeping us humble. Add to all of that, the care given to help it along the way...helping one another along the way...and we begin to see that the process is perfectly in process. Learning to relax, so as to just enjoy it all, and to be able respond to what is happening, ends up being what it is all about. For the one who is learning to live there, it becomes much easier to see what God has been offering and freely giving all along....everything we all need to be what he created us to be so as we move along in the scootch scootch slog and bog of life, we stop bouncing off one another so much, and instead learn to dance.... graciously learning to lead at times as well as follow.
"It was chaos in color. His eyes tried unsuccessfully to find some order in this blatant disregard for certainty. Dazzling sprays of flowers were blasted through the patches of randomly planted vegetables and herbs, vegetation the likes of which Mack had never seen. It was confusing, stunning, and incredibly beautiful."
and then this, after some important time spent with the Spirit in the garden.
"His gaze moved over the garden that surrounded them. "But it really is beautiful, and full of you, Sarayu. Even though it seems like lots of work still needs done, I feel strangely at home and comfortable here."The two looked at each other and grinned.Sarayu stepped toward him until she had invaded his personal space. "And well you should, Mackenzie, because this garden is your soul. This mess is you! Together, you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process. To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive---a living fractal." from the chapter A Long Time Ago, In A Garden Far Far Away.....The Shack