Sunday, May 27, 2007

Gardening: It begins again...

Recently--two weeks ago--I was catching up on my usual blog reading and as I was perusing the posts of Cecilia who has been spending time in her yard and garden, it got me to thinking. Ever one to be inspired by another gardener, I have been doing likewise in my own patch of paradise, that place we gardeners go to get down and dirty with the likes of coral bells, campanula and day lilies..Shasta daisies and phlox, as well as enjoying the emergence of my Japanese water iris...soooooo pretty.

I would show you pictures of these little wonders but I have no mobile digital camera. Well, at least not yet and hanging out the window with my webcam is not ideal since I would have to be Stretch of the X-Men to see what I was photographing back at the computer. Trust me, it's all very lovely.

There have been some interesting developments as I look and read about the "garden" of our Communion. It's downright weedy in some parts, very dry in others and yet the beauty is there and for the most part it is flourishing as God intended His Church to do so. I was listening to our presiding bishop last night on Bill Moyers and I am heartened and very much encouraged by her words and perceptions on the state of our Church in America. Great stuff and definitely fine food for thought. As usual our PB holds her own in these sorts of discussions [not that Bill was a bad egg, you understand...] but she is steadfast and holds the positive course of our faith in the Episcopal Church. I am so glad to have such a "captain"! You can also read a transcript of the interview here.

Another bit of news is that finally some light has shined in the darkness of this administration by the ousting of Joint Chiefs of Staff Commander, General Pace. I'm not sorry to see him go and taking his bigoted views with him. Why do these people think they can legislate their so-called moral views on the rest of us, but more importantly, on the men and women serving in the armed forces of these United States, laying their lives on the line for the retro views of a self-admitted bigot and hate-monger. How did he get into the military in the first place? He disgraces the Marine uniform he wears as well as this country's founding principles of freedom, the pursuit of happiness and ultimately the equality we all want to see be actualized in our lifetime. And I guess you don't insult the Vice President's lesbian daughter no matter who you are by calling her child immoral either. Serves him right for being so stupid...geez, where do they find these guys? Under rocks, I know...

Getting back to this part of the world...As you may have noticed its been a while again since I have written but that's due to a new practical job and the fact that no matter where I go or job I have, somehow sickness and death seem to crop up. Working in health care has that hazard--if you will--of inevitably crossing paths with one or the other, or both aspects of the human condition. Sometimes I want to just say to God, Ok, give me a break from all the suffering and passing from life to death. But that would not be realistic. Sure, I get that way in moments of weakness and weariness but it passes and I stand up again and come to the realization that this is part of my calling, and I have no choice in the matter. And that's ok. I seem to fit into the scenarios that come my way and people do appreciate what I can offer. I mean, once a chaplain, always a chaplain, right? Right.

Regarding Lambeth '08. Funny, it sounds almost Olympian! My heart is not broken or remorseful about Nigeria and Uganda pulling out. Maybe now we can get something accomplished without the boys of summer crashing the party. Perhaps now, some real substantive talk can be made and real, practical decisions can be reached in the areas that are really in need of attention: poverty, hunger, healthcare, education in the countries that need the help of ERD and other hard-working agencies, inside and outside of the Church and Communion.

And in regard to the uninvited bishops. It is a sad and telling thing that +Gene was not invited but at the same time, I am glad Martyn Minns wasn't invited either because he is not a real bishop since he has broken his ordination vows in more ways than one in the Episcopal Church. And gee, I don't see him or the others of like mind clammering to move to Nigeria to be with his archbishop and wickedness transpiring there. Maybe Rowan thought if he removed what he perceives to be catalysts from Lambeth that things would be hunky-dory. And as I have said, one good thing has come of it, the revolting faction of Akinola and his Ugandan counterparts are not coming and they are most likely all in a huff because +Gene won't be there to be their whipping boy, and also because their golden child Martyn won't be allowed to come and play.
I'm sure that in his own way, Martyn is a nice guy but these reactionary views of are his stumbling block.

All right. Enough regarding the continuing saga of the kerfuffle in the Communion. Now then...
my parish priest wants us parshioners to consider the art of "heartstorming". I am certain this is a Bartlettism so stand back and prepare to be dazzled and transported to a new state of consciousness. Essentially she would like us to consider ways in which we can cultivate the spirit of prayer and spiritual growth for this Fall. We will be meeting this Monday evening to discuss ideas and share in a time of prayer [we do lots of that practice!]. So, if you can think of something new that you have heard of or a practice that you yourself engage in, please feel free to share it so I can pass it on. I've come up with a pageful already but am open to new ideas because I will be the first to admit that I simply cannot think of EVERYTHING [she said ever so modestly].

Thanks for your comments and input, but I ask you dear reader, to keep it clean, informative and Godward. Oh and lets help mind the garden and all that grows in it. Even the weeds are God's creation, and somehow--though we may not see it immediately--they are here for some sort of good.




Cecilia said...

Glad to hear of your gardening adventures... I confess to having neglected my patch of earth just a bit. Also I have a neighbor who is trying to grow his lawn and is drowning some of my snapdragons in the process... rrrrr.

As for the garden of the Anglican communion, I follow with fascination each development. It may be that it's easier than following developments in my own "backyard."

As always, thank you for your thoughtful words.

Pax, C.

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for that. I've always liked the idea of garden as metaphor for the larger world. It's not a perfect metaphor though. People could consider the need for weeding and pruning in order to stimulate growth in the larger garden... and come to vastly different (even dangerous) views on how this metaphor might apply to the world.

But the need for a fertile medium, for food & water to activate growth, for the Light from above that nurtures it all and allows a seed to be re-created (reborn) as a new being.

And don't we all know some slugs & snails, some aphids and cutworms? They sure are a nuisance in our "garden," aren't they. (Not naming names now.)

Not going to belabor this, but there is one metaphor in the "world" that I've always found helpful in my garden. When I first started growing roses years ago, I wondered: How do I know where to prune? Sure, avoid branches crossing, growing in toward the center, etc. Then a helpful image came to mind, and now when I prune I "image" the Expanding Universe... where all the galaxies are rushing away from each other. As long as the rose bush is pruned so that every branch is growing away from every other branch, the vision is clear and the pruning right.

And yes... isn't our ++Katherine a beautiful rose in the midst of some real thorns. Bloom on, Kate!

Catherine + said...

Hello and I greet you in Christ, David+

Thank you ever so much for visiting my blog and leaving such wise and insightful words for all of us to ponder. When I wrote my Masters thesis on allegory in the Renaissance, I wrote specifically of the garden imagery in Shakespeare as well as in Northern European Renaissance art, those things that "say but do not say". I also understand the pruning image as sometimes necessary to prevent disease and to allow the main plant to flourish and become healthy again. Though I do believe that our Church is essentially healthy, it is being besieged by an ever growing infestation of that which would cause it to die if preventative measures are not taken. And yes, it may mean losing a branch or secondary branch here or there but there will be more, newer and healthier ones to take their place. We are sorry that some parts must be cut away so that the rest of the plant can continue its destined journey, and we are sorry to have to do the pruning but sometimes it is necessary for the survival of the main plant. Scripture, especially the New Testament is brimming with our Lord's parables of pruning away the dead and cultivating the living.

Anonymous said...

As I was writing the previous comment, I was aware, and somewhat troubled, by the idea that the justification for "pruning" could, and has been, used by those who would advocate ethnic "cleansing," racial "purification" (pruning), etc. Nazi Germany, Serbia, Cambodia, Darfur, and countless others come to mind. Perhaps that is the "dark side" of the metaphor. And, more literally, things like the deforestation of the Amazon basin are justified by those who do it with a weeding/pruning metaphor... at least sub-consciously.

It's a pleasure to have found your blog, Catherine, and I look forward to reading it regularly.

Catherine + said...

David+, I agree on your comment regarding the negative side of pruning but only a pruner bent on the destruction and not the positive effects of cultivation would do so for the reason of propagating an invasive and devastating plant, one that would smother and destroy other beneficial flora, and occasionally, fauna.

The Good Gardener, the one inspired by the wisdom of the Holy Spirit in all of Her nurturing and strengthening power, does what is done for the good of the garden. I see our ++Kate as the Good Gardener, doing what she can to control the negativity and destruction of TEC by those "plants" that would be detrimental to the overall health of the Church. She is encouraging growth and renewal instead of holding back all of the plants that truly should be allowed to grow and flourish in the midst of God's grace and love.

Thank God she is a naturalist as well as a woman of God. What better way to appreciate life than to be in the midst of it and all of its mystery.

Thanks David, again for bringing this aspect to the fore.


eileen said...


Miss you.