Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Lessons from the Garden

I’ve had indoor plants for decades, but I’m new to gardening. And I had fun digging in a community garden recently. My job was to weed two raised beds.

Bermuda Grass

Now if you’ve never weeded Bermuda grass, you may not know about the roots. I knew that the roots went pretty deep for this kind of grass. So I dug, following the roots. down. And down. And down. I noticed a few things that seem to mirror my mind.

First, that the surface had quite a few appearances of this grass, but as I dug, I saw that it came from the same root system. Second, that much of the grass on the surface was connected deep down.

So it is with my mind. I seem to have a variety of areas in my mind or in my life where I need to weed. But ultimately, it all comes from one source. One big deep root.

Faith As Deep and Tenacious

And then a friend pointed out that Bermuda grass is quite tenacious. A small clump of roots could sit

dormant for years in  the shed or in a dry patch of ground. But sprinkle a little water on it, and it grows. And grows. And grows. He said, “As you dig, pray that your faith is as tenacious as that Bermuda grass.” In some ways it is. And then there is my couch potato resume.

A Lifetime Project

And no matter how deep you dig, and how carefully you follow that root system, it seems like it will take a lifetime to rid that raised bed of all of the Bermuda grass. So it is with life. I could spend a lifetime weeding my mind of one thing. Like eating too many sweets.

Or I could just know that those weeds, those deep roots are there, and choose not to water them. I can choose to choose a different thought when I want that cookie or that beautiful pair of earrings.

How about you?

What lessons has your garden taught you?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is approaching.
I have mixed feelings about this holiday.

I am very grateful to live in a country where I am free. As an American, I can worship as I choose, I have a high level of safety and peace in my home, and I have a high standard of living that includes indoor plumbing and access to health care. I have more civil rights here than most countries. As a woman, I have personal freedoms that include the right to have a job, support myself, and most importantly, I have access to information and materials that allow me to choose whether and when and with whom I wish to conceive a child. These are wonderful rights that I enjoy in this country. Some of these rights are ours because of previous wars that kept megalomaniacs in check. Some were because of civil war and activism which were possible because we live in a relatively free country.

Personal Reasons

On the other hand, I have 2 exes who were veterans of the Viet Nam war. Both were in the middle of action. Ed was a grunt, meaning he walked and crawled the rice paddies, was exposed to Agent Orange and horrific scenes that would give anyone nightmares. He eventually died from a drug overdose. Phil was in special forces. He is still alive. Each one told me only a couple of stories of their experiences there, but it was enough to know that the expression “War is Hell.” is no exaggeration. No one should have to endure that. No one.

I have seen up close what it did to their psyches. And I weep for that. I was astonished when Ed told me that upon returning from Nam, they stuck him in detox for a couple of days and then released him with no counseling onto streets where people spit on him because he fought int he war. He was drafted. He wasn’t there by choice. Most of the returning men at the end of that war were drafted. Why would the public take out their disdain for the war on the people forced to fight it?

Childish Thoughts

When I was a child, naive but wise, and first heard about war in school, I blurted out, “If the
presidents have a disagreement with each other, why not put them in a boxing ring together? Why do they drag other people into their fight?”

As an adult, I still ask this question. Apparently we did try to assassinate Hitler. That makes so much more sense than killing and maming thousands of people. Problem is, an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

I don’t have an answer. I wish I did. But I can envision a world where war is obsolete. Where we look back at our past and wonder why we ever thought it was acceptable.

Peace Begins with Me

For now, all I can really do is focus on Peace in my own heart, in my own life. I can dig down and find that Peace in side when I am frustrated with the automated phone system or the fact that my password is no longer being accepted and my only option is to say I forgot it when I didn’t.

And celebrate the fact that I get to have those kinds of problems instead of much greater problems that are experienced every day by so many people, even in our own country.

And from this place of Peace and Love, I can live my life and be an example. I can raise my vibration and know that others are doing that. And eventually there will be enough of us living that way that war is unthinkable, archaic, and just plain stupid.

I pray that day arrives, if not during my lifetime, then after.

How About You?

Do you know any veterans?