Thursday, September 15, 2011
To Stop Watering those Horrible Plants
When I was a little girl, my naughty teenage brother was given a tiny marijuana seedling by someone he knew. He brought it home and planted it in our garden. Later, when it came time for our dad to do his evening watering, he asked, "What's that new plant and how did it get there?" Dad was proud of his garden and never missed anything.
My brother told him, "It's oriental mint. I thought I'd like to try some ethnic cooking."
"Well, I nearly didn't see it. It won't last long if you forget about it and leave it dry. I'd better look after it for you." From then on, to my brother's amusement, Dad watered the little cannabis plant whenever he watered everything else. Its time in our garden was short-lived but I still remember the sight of my dad, standing there watering something he would've immediately uprooted if he'd known what it really was.
I keep accidentally nourishing plants which I think are OK but aren't. Many people do.
A little bit of jealousy and envy. Don't I have a right to feel bitter?
A smidgin of back-biting and complaining.
A flash of bad temper over an incident a saint would be annoyed at!
A bit of resentment. Hey, these people are so annoying, they deserve it!
A pinch of fear. That one has the potential to spread in a flash and take over the whole garden.
When I think more globally, it seems that society as a whole keeps watering harmful plants until we have a whole forest causing all sorts of problems. Many have been legalised and indulged in for year after year, so it doesn't occur to people that it's the plants that are causing the trouble. Mediums and spiritual gurus peddling all sorts of weird philosophies are treated like heroes and invited to be special guests on our morning breakfast shows, de-facto relationships take the place of committed marriages, one-night stands are treated as a bit of fun and babies are aborted as if they aren't human-beings just like the rest of us. Pre-nuptial agreements are made as loop holes for the brave and among those who do decide to try walking the 'traditional' path are same sex couples. Then we wonder why therapists' appointment books fill fast with the names of hurting people who are battling confusion, hopelessness, guilt and betrayal over what they've done, or what they feel others have done to them.
It upsets me to see that some of the people who take it upon themselves to urge others not to water these plants do it with sneers on their faces and holier-than-thou attitudes. They spread the name of Jesus around in a harsh, judgmental sort of way, without understanding how completely natural it is for people who have never been taught Biblical scriptures to assume that what they see the rest of the world do must be fine. Censorious, vinegar-faced types of Christians who criticize and spread disapproval wonder why their input is repeatedly rejected. Wake up you guys, you've read the Book, they haven't! It's like bagging me for not being able to speak fluent Russian. I just haven't been taught. In the same way, they don't understand that what the twenty-first century western world calls 'normal' is not what the Bible calls 'normal'.
I want to stop watering these plants, not because of some fear-based compulsion to follow external rules and avoid criticism but because I've seen the problems these growths cause when we cultivate them. I've tried jealousy, fear, competition and criticism. Not only have they not worked but they've soured my life. I want to tear out their roots whenever they appear because I know they are bad for my body, soul and spirit. I fully expect the good fruits I want to plant in their place to take off and attract people by the sweetness of their taste and the fragrance of their flowers.
That's what attracted me, after all.