Thursday, April 19, 2007

I've Been Reading . . .

One of the best things about spring is the way the garden wakes up.
The tulips in our back yard are beginning to open, just as the daffodils take their final bows. Bluebells, lily of the valley, hostas - they wait in the wings, and I wait for them.
I've been reading a small book, The Fragrance of God, by Vigen Guroian. Guroian describes the way working in his garden draws him closer to God. He writes, "God has filled the whole of Creation with signs of his existence, signs that our senses can apprehend and that our minds can translate into knowledge of him."
Gardens are not just about flowers, though. Guroian describes the way his Irish setter, Scarlett enjoyed being in the garden with him as he worked: "I believe that, despite what some people may conclude about canine sensibility, Scarlett loved beauty also. I believe that love moved her to linger in the garden, to chase after the butterflies, and to consume beauty when she caught it."
In our garden, a variety of blooms invite finches, robins, and all kinds of birds who trill and sing for admission; the butterfly comes looking for a place to rest, and passers-by linger a bit, enjoying the color, the way sunlight plays across the tulips. We watch as rabbits sit quietly among new growth, taking a quick nibble now and then. We hold our breath as the garden empties when a hawk perches in the big tree at the back of the yard.
Our garden is nothing spectacular; it needs weeding and rearranging. Somehow, though, despite all the work that needs to be done, this garden offers both refuge and delight to all kinds of creatures, including me.
Now that spring is here, I'm excited to go play in the dirt, to dig, to weed, to sweat, to plant, to breathe in the fragrance of God.

The Fragrance of God, by Vigen Guroian, published by William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, copyright 2006

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