Monday, May 10, 2010

Things change

As gardeners, we love change.  We jump around and go and get each other and say, "Look at this!  Look at what happened in the past day, look how this grew!"  We are excited and delighted and constantly observing the changes, watching for the seed to germinate and unfurl leaves above the soil, for the flower to open and startle us with pollen, for the fruit of the plant to grow, for the cycle to end, for the spent to enter the compost and come out as delicious soil and start again.  We love it.  For me, it is fundamentally spiritual in nature, the deepest honoring of life there is, to have this intimate contact with the force that awakens the seed, animates the plant for a time, and then departs.

But even though outside we revel in change, we are struggling right now with the big change that entered our life last fall, with cancer and the changes it brought deep inside us both.  Everything we do now, we do in company with this shadow.   It changed Joe, and it changed me, and we will never be the same as we were before.  There's some deep sorrow about that, about never again being able to return to what we remember as the thoughtless unaware eden of Before, to who and what we were before we were changed by this experience.  Back then, we say now, we only thought we had problems, but we had it all, we were fine and we didn't even realize.  And we're sad.  We wait for the results of the PET scan, wonder what the hell we're doing with our lives, feel despair, fall down.

And yet, the gardener jumps around.  There was a blight, but we cut it out, and we're still here and what's unfolding now before our eyes?  What paradise can we dig into now and help to bloom?  What can we add, what can we do, to support this delicate life we see, to feed it, make it stronger, help it open up, drink deep, get strong, shine out?

Our actual garden, the one we make outside, is the biggest, fullest, most beautiful it's ever been this year.  Our devotion to it has expanded.  My own connection is so much stronger than it ever has been.  I have my own hands in our own dirt for hours every weekend, every moment a delight -- almost as if I'm creating the vision outside, in the yard, to which the inner will gravitate.  It has a pull all its own, a gravitational force. If we keep our eye on it, nurture the life around us, outside us, then our own inner landscape changes, matches it in beauty and variety and vibrancy.  At least I think that's what's happening.  I don't really know.

Cancer happened, and it's true that we'll never be the same.  But because I see the wonders we've made in our own little world outside, I know that yes, we'll be different, but we'll also be better than we were, sometimes terrified but always bigger.  If nothing else, in a few months, we will reap the bounty of what we've sown, we will eat beautiful food that we grew in soil that we made in a paradise of our own creation.  If there's more than that, it's icing on the cake.

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