Sunday, May 31, 2020

A Marvelous Garden of Humanity

I take solace in the little garden Amy and I have in our front yard. The plants need care each day to establish themselves. The soil is poor by nature in these parts, the sun can be brutal, and to add injury cutworms and other pests arrive to attack the tender stems. 

I have a personal relationship with each plant. I have nurtured and supported each one, so when a death occurs I grieve a little.

The turmoil in our world today grevious. Covid-19 virus causing worldwide destruction, many wars and conflicts have killed and displaced populations, corrupt governments are in power while desperate dying people languish . . . and now in America the racial divide is coming into sharp focus with the video taped murder of a black man by a police officer in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

All these issues are cathartic—but hopefully will lead to healing.

As my beloved daughter Naomi said when she battled her terminal illness at age 18, “Hardships can make us stronger. I don’t have complete evidence, but every situation has some good in it.”

My wife Amy particularly has been staying tuned to events in Minneapolis where severe rioting broke out in the aftermath of the police killing. She lived there from 1983 - 1992, was very involved in the community and had great success as an artist. Her sons are raising their families there now. Amy knows the neighborhoods that have burned.

I have lived in a city where race riots raged and buildings burned. In 1968, when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, swaths of downtown Washington DC had storefronts broken, then looted and burned to the ground. Black radical leaders were enraged and called for armed insurgency against an America that had double standards for black and white citizens. 

I was in high school then and in a neighborhood far removed from ghettos. Still, I felt the rage nearby.

Now, 52 years later, disparities remain.

Like plants, people need the same tender care from the beginning of life. They must have fertile soil to grow in, have equal protections against disease, blight and pestilence. Each must be watered according to their needs; some more some less. Then we will see a marvelous garden of humanity, resplendent in color and form, shedding its grace in the universe in which it thrives.

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