Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The plants speak (My Sacred Life, day 5)

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I noticed a few days ago how the forsythia we planted as a baby in 2004 was really growing like crazy this year, and when I saw how the tallest forsythia branch was touching a downward-aimed branch of our crabapple tree—the 40-year-old crabapple which has suffered a good bit from the monster snows we have had over the last few years—I knew that one day soon I would take this picture.

For me, the instant I saw this scene, I knew that it represented the heavens and earth meeting, exactly as the Sistine Chapel ceiling contains the fresco Michelangelo painted of God reaching to Adam, sparking the divine within the earthbound.

Is it okay to have the plant-world version of this majestic event replicated in my own front yard?

Heck, why not!?

What I love about it is the thought of this old tree, beaten up and battered during its long life, reaching out to the young bush to offer the assurance of lessons yet to be learned.

It’s a lesson I continue to learn as a parent, as a friend, and as a mentor for others: you cannot talk someone into avoiding life’s mistakes (or, to put it more positively, the opportunities for learning which arrive via a smack upside the head). What you can do, though, is offer an experienced voice and the same assurance I imagine the crabapple offering the forsythia: you, young one, will learn much and may or may not remember this moment as I tell you of some of the lessons you have yet to live. You will come through those times with your own appreciation, your own scars, and your own desire to help the next one pass through more easily.

And, you will learn the lesson I struggle with today…that you cannot prevent the ones you wish to teach from learning life’s lessons through their own adventures. Yet, I’m content to know that there are aspects of what I seek to teach which do reach the students. I don’t have to know what those are, and therein resides the peace of it. If I can be happy knowing my efforts bear fruit even if I don’t know today if they be apples or lemons, I have learned the lesson the teacher must learn, a lesson we all can benfit from: acceptance.


kwright said...

Once again, your words blow me away! You have an extreme gift of expressing yourself. Even though I've been visiting here for a short while, you have obtained a devoted reader my friend!

Hamguin said...

I'm very grateful for the compliment, Kim!

It's a mutual admiration situation, as I really enjoy your blog, too. I'm sure I'll be chiming in over on your pages again soon!

Journey Through Life said...

I love the sacredness of this photo!

Jane said...

I really needed to savor every word of this post this morning. You are so true. There are so many learning lessons in life that can be shown and taught to us by so many ways. For me personally, I always take the view that I have to work right alongside the bad things in order to get through and be at a better place. Sometimes the lessons are hard and weeds are thick, but I'm grateful for the presence of these lessons.

Patti said...

Sometimes the answers are right in front of us, but we don't see them until we are ready to. And there is a saying "when the pupil is ready the teacher will appear" So there is hope for us all yet! Great post.