Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Missiles and Easter Lilies

Woke up this morning to the news that Iran practiced shooting missles, some of which could potentially be armed with nuclear warheads and aimed at Israel. Or other places within a thousand miles--take your pick. There was a frantic edge, a danger sign flashing, red lights going in the news report--World War III gasped with the comment we are not ready.

But through the discussion with Obama on the TODAY show on NBC, someone else mentioned that Iraq has had this capability for quite a while....

I am deeply concerned at the growing hyperbole of war. Again. The cynic in me truly believes much of this is being trotted out to keep the American people afraid, and to sway the election in November.

But I also have my head above the sand, and firmly believe that the current administration has so totally screwed things up that we will be decades undoing the damage done. Politically. Environmentally. Socially.

We have a lot of work ahead of us.

Part of that work includes being grounded--doing those things which give us life and feed our souls. If we forget to do those things, we will have no life to share.

And part of that, for me, is playing with water and dirt. Growing living things. But our yard is really quite tiny--maybe 15 by 20 feet, at the very most--you know, a city yard.

This is our yard, almost all of it, with our screen tent because we have no screen porch.

Last night, eating dinner in our little city backyard, I relished the smell of an Easter lily that has finally bloomed--Imagine! An Easter lily in mid-July!! Purple, pink, white with its incredible sex-parts all hung out and waving around. I love God's imagination.

Being from the west--I cannot describe the elation and wonder and awe I feel at seeing lilies growing in yards.... not exotica, but part of a common landscape.

My first spring and summer in this house, I did not recognize all the plants and growing things. I did not know what to call them--they had no place in the catalog of my head. So I let everything grow--just grow to see what they were and what they did and what they asked of me, their caretaker.

One plant had huge plain leaves, gorgeous bright berries that stained my fingers blue. Joel called it ink-berry, and recalled childhood games of staining his skin--making tatoos, but that this plant grows wild and is nasty--that I should cut it down and out while I had the chance. I didn't listen. It was one of the few growing things.... you know what I mean? And I had nurtured this one plant --it must have been nine feet tall.

One afternoon, we had a Vestry get-together at our house, partners/spouses included. And a gentle man--who LOVES to garden (and has a garden to die for), opened the back door to go in to the backyard, and with the door only half opened, he turned around with this horrified look on his face. Margaret --he said, that's POKE WEED! You are growing a HUGE WEED in your backyard.

And so I was.

Well, this weed and I, which I have discovered is indeed a very agressive and messy plant, not one I would choose to live with--we have come to an agreement. It can grow all it wants to on the otherside of the fence, in the alley. I like the birds its clusters of berries attracts, the shape of its broad leaves, the wonder at its hollowish bamboo like stems. I do not like it over-shadowing all else. Because certainly, my July-blooming lily would not survive next to it.

But I have discovered that there is no room for it and all the other treasures which have found a home in my very small little yard.

And I know deep in the heart of this, there is a parable. Weeds. Missles. Lilies. It's all there.


Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

These are frightening times in which to live, and perhaps most frightening are the folks who chose to be force-fed propaganda.

But it has always been this way. We must keep praying and protesting and hope that God will help turn this country from its mindlessly militaristic ways.

Anonymous said...

Iran shot the missiles. Not Iraq.

FranIAm said...

Oh that image of the lilies and your yard is on my heart...

it's margaret said...

anonymous --thank you! I knew that! Dang it!

Ruth --it is sad, isn't it. And we must not fall prey to the anger nor the fear.

Franiam --and I think you would love my weeds too!