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Everything Leans To The Light...

Posted by SallyNBC

I wanted to share one of my favorites. ❤️🙏❤️

The Gift of Garden
From Small Graces by Kent Nerburn

I have not always loved gardens. They seem too controlled and futile.
It took a friend of mine, a Jesuit priest, to open my heart to their beauty.
He was a deeply learned man, and had spent his life in pursuit of ultimate issues:
What is God, what is the nature of good and evil, what is the meaning of life?

But as he grew older, he had turned his attention to the creation of a Japanese garden.
Inside a small yard, day by day, on hands and knees, he would lovingly pluck a leaf,
bend a twig, place a stone, or trim a branch until a new and unexpected shaft of light
showered down and danced upon the earth. He now spent more time with his garden
than he did with his books.

I once asked how he had come to this.
"I still ask the large questions," he said. "But I no longer seek large answers.
A flower, or the space between a branch and a rock, these are enough."

He bid me get down to where he was carefully removing a leaf from a small plant.
“Look here,” he said, as the leaf released and fell softly into his hand. “This looks like
nothing more than an insignificant shrub. But in fact, it is a small tree, strong and full,
with a rich and private life that no one knows or sees.”

He pointed to a sliver of sunlight beaming down upon its branches.
“I opened this to the sun last year. See how the branch is turning to the light?
This took months. But I knew that by allowing the smallest bit of light to shine
upon the plant, it would slowly turn its face toward the sun.”

He turned and smiled at me.
“Are any of us so different from this tree – strong, full, with a life almost unnoticed?
And who among us does not grow and prosper when someone shines even the
smallest bit of sunlight upon us?
What more do I need to know of God and faith?

He stood and walked slowly back into the library.
“If I cannot see the face of God in a flower or a shaft of light, why would I
expect to see it in ideas and books?”

I have never since ignored a garden. They are, in all their richness,
the bearers of great truths. A well-placed rock is a statement of eternity.
A flower in bloom is creation made whole.

Life, death, earth, and sky all come together in the intimacy of a garden’s space.
At least once a day, I try to contemplate a garden. The season does not matter.
The weightlessness of snow, the timelessness of rocks, the time-bound mutability
of plants, the fragile immediacy of flowers – somewhere within is a lesson that
will touch my heart and link me, if just for a moment, with the universal rhythms
that are the source of all true peace.

I reach down and touch the delicate leaf of a plant. My friend’s words rise up in my heart.
“Everything lives, everything dies, everything leans to the light.”
If I knew only this, it would be enough.


See all blogs by SallyNBC
Jan 07, 2022
sunflower111 : The part that says "And who among us does not grow and prosper when someone shines even the
smallest bit of sunlight upon us?" is so true.
Someone recently shone some sunlight on me... called a group of women beautiful...I was part of that group...
it made me grow...made me happy...
Jan 07, 2022
Panko : That analogy & perspective was mind blowing to me & reminded me of a time a few years ago when I was a member of the national trust in the UK & went to visit loads of stately homes all over Uk when away for a break but the best garden was on my doorstep called “Ascot House” Owned by the Rothchilds banking family who also own Waddesdon manor which is the jewel in the crown for the national trust but in Ascot house was a manicured low hedge row that was shaped into letters & a sentenced while facing the sun which read “ light & shade by turn but love always” see that blew me away & still does!
Jan 07, 2022
Panko : Have you heard of the term the “Lords Lamp” ?
Jan 08, 2022
sunflower111 : No I haven't heard of it.
Jan 10, 2022
iMacG5 : I think, Sunflower, your Jesuit friend and I have some of the same questions but he seems to have many more answers. At least he reaches conclusions that satisfy his research. I'm not there yet but I won't stop searching. We're not alone. Joyce Kilmer glorified a tree as a magnificent creation by God and demeaned himself for being “just” a poet. God gave Kilmer the tools to be the poet he became kinda like God gave your Jesuit friend the wisdom to find answers in places most of us would never look. We're all somewhat different from each other and some couldn't care less about the things your friend, Kilmer, you and I care about. Or maybe others care but don't want to put the effort into digging for more profound meaning. Hey, in a way, they're blessed being satisfied being where they are, knowing what they think they know and leaving the hard work of “thinking” to folks like us.
Thanks for sharing.
Jan 10, 2022
sunflower111 : Thanks for sharing Mike. I find a certain comfort when he says “If I cannot see the face of God in a flower or a shaft of light, why would I
expect to see it in ideas and books?”.
Jan 11, 2022
iMacG5 : Hi Sunflower. I find comfort in knowing something to be fact. I'm very uncomfortable wondering what the real story might be. I'm not comfortable with blind faith. I've been given a brain to determine what's real and reject what's not. I'm even less comfortable with the suggestion to beleive something because it's written; like in the bible or by some brilliant somebody.
I still think we're on the same page or at least in the same book.
Thanks, again,
Jan 11, 2022
sunflower111 : We are in the same book. LOL
Jan 14, 2022
iMacG5 : I'm not that uncomfortable with the fact "i comes before e' but chose to put the e before the i in the word "believe". Fact is, I probably omitted a few quotation marks in the previous sentence also but I really don't care that much. Really? Just glad we can communicate, Karen.

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