Nature has a funny way of teaching lessons, it seems. Recently I received some instruction in this, although I was too thick in my human ways to realize this was the class I was taking. But that is also a lesson: too wrapped up in my plans to see past them, needing to have it all swept away for me to realize how little my designs matter in the scheme of things.
Goodbyes are something I don’t really like facing. I enjoy the idea of something going on, exactly as it has been, for eons on end. A tree says that, it seems. Just think of good old General Sherman in California. A vegetable garden, though less permanent, at least gives the tone of timelessness. The connection with the earth is a bond shared through time eternal. There may not have been You Tube back in the day, but the garden has been around for millennia. In a changing world, planting a tree and having a garden feels like a place where time stands still.
This was the script I had written in my mind. Apparently, the Gaia the Editor had something else planned for the day.
In the course of a week, the tree was destroyed and the garden eaten. The garden was the first casualty. For years, I had been trying to get plants to grow without having to resort to things like Miracle Gro. Finally, I had come upon a system where the plants were growing nicely. Not enough to fend me through winter, but enough that at least that I could say, I grew this, and enjoy it. Alas, I suppose I was not the one meant to enjoy it. One day, I go outside and see broccoli plants climbing towards the heavens and cucumber vines luxuriating in the fact that they were unencumbered with weeds. The next day: what plants? It was as though I’d run into a hallucination. Where I had seen sweet victory, the local rodents had apparently seen dinner. There was nothing left. Something had been hungry indeed.
I suppose that I should feel grateful that the garden invaders left us potatoes and corn.
Even more personally upsetting to me, for I could always go to the farmer’s market to get cucumbers if I really wanted to, was the death of my twelve year old Colorado Blue Spruce tree. Okay, it was stunted like it was destined to play an extra for Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree, but it was something that had been part of the family for twelve years. I could go on forever about what the backstory that led to its ultimate demise, but it had been sickening for months and then was finished off by through a series of unfortunate events. It wasn’t a very good sight to see it ultimately dead after it was all finished. This wasn’t part of the plan to have it dead so soon. Wasn’t it supposed to outlive me?
Alas, nature had other plans for me. Forcing me to say goodbye on her terms, reminding me that no matter what agenda I planted in her grounds, she was the one who had the ultimate say. I, part of mankind, think I can plant a garden and begin a park and call it nature. Nature, though, she has a way of reminding me that she has a mind of her own, reminding me that inventing permanence is an illusion. All things pass away, no matter what my plans of eternity are when I am in her territory. Only the stubs of memory remain.