Friday, March 19, 2010

The Spring Garden

I love being able to take an old piece and place it here. It makes writing during the Fast so much easier. The following piece was written a few years ago, just after the Fast, and it seemed appropriate to reprint it now. Besides, most of my time these past few weeks has been spent getting some work done on a study of the Kitab-i-Iqan. Although there is little published as of yet, my friend and I are trying to get caught up on our work.

Enjoy these last couple of days of the Fast, and have a very happy New Year.

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Well, it's that time of year again. Spring has come and the winter's snows have melted. Marielle and I looked at the backyard this morning, wondering what to do with it. As usual, it is a slushy, sloppy mud-pit. The crystaline shimmering snows have turned to dreary piles of dirty ice. There are dead plants in the garden, and the grass is all brown and mucky. Garbage has blown everywhere, and all the trees that looked so healthy last year now seem little more than a mess of dead twigs.

And yet, it is one of the most beautiful sights I can imagine.

There is so much we can lament about it. We could cry over the lost plants from last autumn, or strive to re-build those sparkling structures of snow that gave such mesmerizing moments of pleasure throughout the winter. Instead, we realize that the melting snows that look so dismal at this time are carrying the waters necessary for the garden to bloom.

It would be so easy to say that there is nothing we can do to make it better. The work that is involved in making it a beautiful, lush garden once again is dauting. And we can even say, "What's the point? It will just get ruined again next winter." To those who watch us over the next few weeks, it would be so easy for them to wonder why we are "wasting" our time. All they will see is the family digging in the mud, raking out the grass, and tossing the piles of branches onto the compost heap. They may see us take perfectly good peas, beans or kernels of corn, or tiny seeds from myriad plants, and "throw them away" by sticking them in the ground.

But to those with vision, they will understand that we do it in order to reap the harvest at the end of the season. They understand that most every seed we carefully plant will blossom and give either flowers or fruit. They will know that we will gather the fruit and eat of it. They will see the wisdom in planting the flowers that will give us medicine for the next year. They will smile as they see us labour for a bounty that is, to most eyes, as yet invisible.

It is for this reason, too, that I write these articles.

It is for this reason that Marielle and I take the time to work with the neighbourhood children and teach what little wisdom we can impart.

It is for this reason that Baha'is, all over the world, are not concerned about the various political dramas playing out in many countries throughout the globe. Although we lament any hardships they may cause, still we strive diligently and intelligently to plant the seeds that we know will grow into a plentiful harvest in the years to come. We do not try to re-build the shimmering structures of yesterday, trying to capture their mesmerizing beauty. We work to plant a new garden that will grow into itself and help sustain a needy world.

It is the vision of the gardener that sees the garden in the mud. It is the true gardener that understands that the beauty of the icicles and snowflakes pale in comparison to the true beauty of the flowers that shall come. It is the true gardener who understands what lies ahead.

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