These are the chronicles of the esoteric . . .

TUESDAY, JUNE 1, 2010

blessings and curses

It's not a big plot - maybe ten feet long by five or six wide - but it certainly is the beginning of what could be a garden. It has the potential; each seed was individually pushed into the newly worked soil by our very fingers. It was brilliant. The sun periodically peeked from behind the clouds to spy on us as we turned the soil and pulled out all the rocks we could find, all the weeds we could find and as we ensured the worms we disturbed were safe to remain in this place - those deemed a risk were thrown over the fence into the back lane.

We laid the wooden border to set its boundaries, we buried the seeds in the rows we hope the plants will grow. Our fingernails proudly bore the dirt like medals; our muscles ached with the joy from the preparations. We've watered it and have been glad to see the rain; we look out the back window to make sure there's no cats using our plot as a personal toilet. It's only been a few days, but we eagerly wait. This tiny little piece of land behind our landlord's tool shed has been transformed - it is no longer an unkempt space, but it has now been given order out of the chaos it once was; it is no longer a foreign, unwelcoming corner of the yard, but it is now our earthen womb.

Yet, it's still merely a rectangular plot of dirt - mysteriously looking like a freshly dug grave.

We feel older now knowing in the backyard there is a becoming initiated by our efforts. We feel more at home with a garden outside our back door. The question of production barely crosses our minds - it is not a matter of consumption, this garden of ours. It's not about how much this land will yield, not whether it will even yield at all. For this is what we're meant for.1

And this is what we're cursed to.

It may not be to the extent of farming an acreage, but in this little garden we get a glimpse of what it means to eat by the sweat of our brow.2 Here, in this rectangular plot of earth, we recognise the work required simply to get something to eat - a notion lost on the culture which buys its packaged food off a shelf, thereby separating itself from the curse Adam and Eve chose when they disobeyed.

The way our society lives does not allow a recognition of dependence - what you want you can get from any store, be it on-line or at a shopping mall. We are brought up to believe only in ourselves, and to rely on our whims and ambitions when it is in God Himself where we are to lay our trust, faith, hope, and indeed our entire being. Amidst a world which prides itself in ease of comfort, immediate gratification, independence and complacency, our little garden behind our landlord's shed reminds us we are far from home.

So we cultivate the ground outside of Eden remembering this is not how it's supposed to be - and the weeds, the thorns and the thistle we uproot will help us keep that in mind as the sweat moistening the garden's dirt will be by what we eat these vegetables. By this toil we will eat of the ground, cursed as much as we are. We will work it, and it will work us while we both wait in eager expectation for the liberation from our bondage to decay.3




1. Genesis 1:28, 2:15
2. Genesis 3:18
3. Romans 8:19-21



[posted by ericjordan at 0616 hrs]  

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