Thursday, June 02, 2005

Summer Rhythm

"The Wish to be Generous"
by Wendell Berry

ALL that I serve will die, all my delights,
the flesh kindled from my flesh, garden and field,
the silent lilies standing in the woods,
the woods, the hill, the whole earth, all
will burn in man's evil, or dwindle
in its own age. Let the world bring on me
the sleep of darkness without stars, so I may know
my little light taken from me into the seed
of the beginning and the end, so I may bow
to mystery, and take my stand on the earth
like a tree in a field, passing without haste
or regret toward what will be, my life
a patient willing descent into the grass.

As my summer rhythm overtakes my frantic semester's pace, I have been spending much time in the yard. My vegetable garden promises to provide me with tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, pumpkin, cantaloupe, strawberries, and more as the season progresses, if only I can keep it nourished with water and keep the weeds at bay. I've moved my perennials to the slope on the side of my driveway and hope to hold in the soil there while framing the yard with some beauty. We have our ten Arbor Day Foundation trees nestled in the garden at the back of the house growing and awaiting their fall transplanting. We have been nurturing them for well over a year and a half since they were mailed to us--a thin package of sticks with bare roots--now healthy little saplings. And I go out in the dirt and the hours pass as the children play in the yard or help me dig and plant, and I feel renewed.

Yet just a Berry states in his poem, "All that I serve will die, all my delights..." My plants, my trees, my beautiful children. I want my life to be neither hasty nor regretful. I pray that my life will be generous because it is not forever here, and I want to live in peace with God and neighbor.


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