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A MATTER OF LIFE AND LIFE
May 22, 2008
 
The garden needs some negative space -- dark intervals of soil to interrupt the profusion of green and give some shape to the whole thing. It has been a wet spring, and everything out there has grown like Topsy.

This will involve uprooting perfectly good plants, most of which will not be saved. It is a painful process: you can't save every last plant in a garden. You must make decisions about how much the garden can manage and then you must discard the rest. Maybe you can give some of them away -- call me at 732-762-1767 if you'd like some star coreopsis or some daylilies -- but most of them are going into the compost.

I need not point out the obvious: everything else in life is like this, too. All choices have two sides. Repeatedly, not just once a season, we must decide to allow something, and that always means not allowing something else. And the something else we don't allow is not usually a bad thing. It's just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's not hard to choose between good and evil. What's hard is choosing between good and good.

But stop and think: that plant you toss in the compost? Its work is not over. It only looks that way to us. The energy that formed it can never be destroyed. Immediately, it sets about the work of changing states. In the interesting and creative process we dismissively call "rotting," it will become food for other plants and animals. Its life will go on, in myriad ways, as long as the earth endures. Because I cannot use something doesn't mean it is lost. Because I cannot do something myself doesn't mean it won't happen in another way. There are lots of good ways for things to happen besides the one I would like to see.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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