Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Untitled post

"We are circling,
              circling together,
We are singing,
            singing a heart song.                                                            
This is how we grow
            This is how we get to know
                                This is celebration
                                          This is sacred .. "

Life gets untidy and that's ok.
Just add flowers.

I'm (almost) at a loss for words here.

I just finished reading the Gospel of John - I mean really reading it - and there ain't no way, no how, that I can describe that experience, so I won't try. Those of you who have read it - I mean really read it - will be nodding when I say it left me changed.

Lots of things have left me changed in the last few weeks. Yet each one of these changes has made me more who I am. I've been freed up, I've been nailed down. I've had my hands filled with better work to do. The answering machine in my head is switched on; if worries want to talk to me they can leave a message.


Not that I'm not still relatively fucked up, my friends, I am that for sure. Isn't that a life long thing, though? I check to see if those worries have left a message at least once a day and they always have. Nice to know they care enough to check in, I suppose.

Meanwhile, after spending the early part of the summer pretending to be a proper gardener - a most un-like me endeavour - I surrendered to the garden and it showed me how things were really going to go. I could blame the less than ideal weather for things not going 'my way' - seeds not coming up despite religious watering, various types of grasses coming up in beds - but that's not it. It's that this place knows better than I do what needs to grow here. Once I allowed some of the grass to grow tall enough to start waving in the breeze I had a charming addition to the perennial bed. The grass in the vegetable bed had a decidedly bluish tinge to it.

And that, of course,
has turned out to be oats.

The First Nations peoples grew "the three sisters" together; corn, beans and squash. If my guess is correct, it was the sisters themselves who taught those gardeners that they grow happier together. In this garden, another set of siblings is teaching me:

Potatoes, lambsquarters, sunchokes and oats.

The potatoes were funny - I planted them in the same way I always have, they did not come up. Well they sort of did, but they'd been kind of drowned by a heavy rain at the wrong time and left bogged down under the mulch. I dug them out and tossed them aside in disgust; they lay on the soil exposed to the elements while other matters took me away from the garden for a few days. When I came back, they had 'taken' where they dropped, so there they grow, now pretty darn healthy and surprisingly bug free. The lambsquarters (spontaneous) next to those potatoes are the healthiest in the garden. The sunchokes (and apparently the oats) come up no matter what I do to discourage them but hey, that's how Creation works. It offers me better food than any I might plant.

"Do you want to be made well?"  John 5:6

Some might disagree, but it seems to me that Creation and Jesus have the same message for us.

That hardly anyone hears that message isn't surprising. Whether it comes from His words in the Gospels or grows out of the soil under our feet, it's not logical to the human mind.

I have a lot to learn, and I love to learn. My problem is that I gravitate towards the wrong teachers sometimes. In spite of knowing better, I sometimes get sucked in by people who are confident that they have the answers, and maybe they do - for the questions they're asking.

I'm asking something different though. My questions aren't even formulated in words half the time. My questions are an opening up, a making of more room in my heart. If I feel my heart being filled up I know that answer is the wrong one for me. The right answer opens my heart up even more.

Do you know what I mean?

It's not even always a pleasant or easy thing to have one's heart open up more. It can be downright painful. That's a pain that mostly we're taught to avoid if we can. So we fill ourselves up with what satisfies us, makes us feel content. Fuzzy and warm, or at least confident. But it seems to me that's the last thing we should want, or the last thing I should want. I can only speak for myself.

So here I am, humbled before my garden, and humbled before a 2 thousand year old book, both of which, logically speaking, are essentially just "things". Yeah, right. To me, they are one and the same "thing"; and pull my heart wide open til it aches. The calling, the yearning (oh that yearning!) for more of His word in that old book, His way in my little garden, will never be satisfied.

Yet here's the thing that's the most illogical of all - His word and His way call for more of me, too. It's reciprocal. That's where the joy of it comes in, why I refuse to avoid the sometimes painful wrenching open of my heart.

In the 8th Psalm, David asks:

"When I consider Your
 heavens, the work of Your
The moon and the stars,
    which you have ordained.
What is man that You are
   mindful of him,
And the son of man that You
    visit him?"


  1. Do you know what I mean?

    Oh yeah, I do. When you think you KNOW something, it's probably wrong. But when your heart opens up, it becomes a belonging or joining rather than a knowing. Do you know what I mean? He he (of course you do).

    1. A belonging or joining. Yes, that's a good way to put it.

  2. The photo and its caption up top really HIT me. Thanks for that message. (The one about untidy and just adding flowers.)

    I thought of you yesterday. Wonder if I knew you were about to communicate.

    You know, in life, I feel like your garden up there. I try to keep myself, what I do, who I communicate with all gardened up, and instead, I get torn up and transferred to a new place and then surrounded by characters who push me to grow better.

    I've been meditating on Luke, somewhat sounding like you are doing with John. I like the way you explained that when you really learn something, it opens you up even more. Yes. That's a nice way to put it.

    Well, I enjoy your posts. Soon I'm going to my childhood home and I'm looking forward to the trees, grass, flowers, sky, rivers, streams, and small hills there. But I've been practicing living better with the constant wind here in SD.

    1. I do a lot more pruning of my relationships than I do in my garden. As I get older I guard my energy more, let people and circumstances control me less. But the key to that, I guess, is that I'm getting older, my kids are long grown and gone and for the first time my life is my own.

      If anyone knows from chaos I'm sure you do. 4 girls, right?

      I figure as long as my house is clean underneath the chaos I'm good to go. I just get cranky when I aim for perfection, and cranky is bad. A touch of pretty soothes the soul. Besides, husbands (and kids) don't notice the dust as much as we think they do. But they notice the little touches like flowers. It's what makes home, home.

      Have a lovely time at your childhood home!

    2. "As I get older I guard my energy more, let people and circumstances control me less."

      I like getting older!!!! :-)

      Yes, four girls. It is a friggin' hen house in my house. Cluck. Cluck. Cluck. Bawk. Bawk. Cluck. I'm not kidding! It sounds JUST like a real hen house! But they are really, really good people. I'm glad I had them!

      I will have fun at home, home.

    3. Hahaha - My son & his wife have 3 girls (so far). They're still little, and the really little ones do NOT peep like chicks do, now do they?

  3. Ah, you served up some sweet summer fruit, Sister.

    1. Why thank you! I'm having a pretty wonderful summer.