Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What the Garden Has Taught Me

 What the Garden Has Taught Me:

The chard, 
in the wrinkled burning of green and red
speaks to me this morning.

Each plant pulls hidden nutrients up from the Earth. Each soaks in the celestial light of the sun. Each strengthens its stalks in the wind. Each is a reflective product of where it sprouted, lived, bloomed and died. If seeds do not come, progeny occurs in other ways: Then they will feed the “gods” of the garden, the ones who talk with them and walk within their rows. They will also feed the small ones (Bugs and such), their still plant cells becoming bodies that walk and fly.

Then it will be time to die in the cutting or the frost or the blight, or if they are fortunate in old age. They will wilt into the soil, becoming yet more in the coming spring, all the while feeding the secret ones (bacteria and nematodes and worms) beneath the surface.
Is our life any different from the chard’s life? We see and feel in a different way. We reason. Yet at our essence we are the same. This moment, that feeling on the flesh. This kiss of the sun, that stroke of wind. This deep drink of water, that falling with the knife… All our experiences being stored in the body and anchored deep in the mystery of earth.
Perhaps we take in all we experience, akin with the chard. The flesh is actually stored sunlight and rain. Perhaps our beauty is ultimately meant for the distribution back into the living and the firmament.

Being a farmer has introduced ideas from the plants into the souls of my bare feet. The plants have offered me theories of the universe. This is one theory they present, so simple and resolute:

This life, all our experiences, thoughts and dreams, this is all there is. What we take in and what we give out, what brushes by in the wind is All that we’ll know in the end. And here’s the warp and woof of mystery:

There is no end, only change in the changeless.

And tapping sprinkler sings its rain upon the leaves. I hear a song, an elaboration of the chard’s theory of life:


Isn’t it amazing, a little chard can sing its theory on the universe in such poignant terms. Just think what we can sing, dear friend.
So I muse a little while longer within the waving rows of green: Though our minds are fixed on the forward progression of time, there is more. Time, as we know it, is illusion. It all happens at once. Unlike the chard, we just don’t have the physical equipment to understand this concept yet. Yet being human has it’s supreme benefits. This human experience is our chance to sequentially move in a body with the focus of moment by moment.
It does not require religion or spirituality or mysticism to subscribe to the chard’s view of the universe. Only physics. You can add the filigree of the other metaphors if you like. I pray that what I contrive about this life ads beauty and love to the whole garden, and not the burning cynicism of drought.
As for me today, I grow to the tender and ruthless touch of the Gardner. I dance in rhythm to the raven circling above. I bend to the children’s feet running in circles above my roots.

This… THIS… is heaven and hell right now, right here

What will I make of this life? Will my inner life be one of wonder or torment, gratitude or torment, connectivity or disregard, seriousness or ecstasy? Or will I be a mix of all life has to offer with no judgment? How about you, dear reader? As Rumi says in the Wandering Shepherd: “It is all good. It is all right.”

I think that beings who wish to awaken will be offered a choice: Either to keep all their experiences within the container of “self” or to offer all they know and wonder to world. The latter would be a choice to lose an identity of one in billions for folding into oneness.

Perhaps these ideas are true in part? Perhaps the chard is just a dumb mute plant. Perhaps these musings are delusion. For me and the chard it’s a win-win delusion. If I live as if This Is It and forever is here so be it.  If I live as if everything is a miracle, so be it.
Today I chose to live, the best I can, with the idea that my experiences are an offering and a melding into something so much greater, becoming less and more. I revel in the being of a garden green and swaying in the wind. Will you walk with me a while longer in the garden?


(c) Copyright Richard Sievers,  July 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Mixed Metaphors

Returning after an estate sale at my parent's house this week:

When I think of all the stuff I saw disappear. Sold. Poof....years of collecting, thrown out into the world. All the beautiful things were like cotton on the dandelion, yet not so fertile. The things were inert, like dust. The memories and hopes still hovered around them though. It was like their life was a blast of material fun.

This world, being an entertainment of the senses. Then the movie ends. The parents edge toward the paths of the other world. And I imagine my last days too. Can it be that those will really come for me? For you? What will the end be like? And how am I present now?

This life appears as so many metaphors all mixed together: Seed, dust, vision, path.
How poignant and fleeting, how seemingly pointless and truly fantastic this experience is.
Is there an answer to all the question the things ask as the once upon a time treasures fly out the door under the arm of a new customer?

At this stage of my life I'm not so ashamed of sounding trite or corny. So I repeat the only answer I hear rising out of my parent's empty house. Things disintegrate into loss. Yet there is nothing to lose with the one thing that is not a thing at all: LOVE.

Love is the answer to all the pondering. Not the metaphor of love, but the ordinary, nitty-gritty, terrorizing, infusing wonder that is love. Love of life. Love of the people. Love of the Earth. Love of the dust and the seed. Love of the vision of what is. Love for the path that disappears into a field of stars.


(c) Copyright Image and Words, Richard Sievers,  July 2014, All Rights Reserved