2.27.2009

The Depths of the Earth: I Am A Garden


These days I feel like a garden bed, and not because of the obvious ideas about burgeoning growth and ripening buds. I am a garden because of the little mole that is tunneling through my insides, delving deeper into my depths, burrowing (I can only imagine from this analogy) for grubs and snail eggs. This last week there has been considerable movement down there, from the Jab-Jab variety to the Pick Axe, and then lately, The Auger. I imagine him with a miner's headlamp looking for gold or at least big shoveler hands and a waistcoat like Moley in my favorite adaptation of the 'Wind in the Willows' by Cosgrove Hall.
In Which I Am A Building: Rosa as Row House
And then there's the beginning of 'The Magician's Nephew' when Polly and Diggory Kirke are traversing the long dark empty space behind the cistern in the attics of the London row house where they lived. I guess that makes me a building too. Not the usual pregnancy metaphors. Here are some other unlikely ones.
'For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.....My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.' Psalm 139:13, 15.
It is astonishing to think that when the psalmist spoke of his frame being made in 'the secret place' he was talking about somewhere that is inside of me. I contain somehow, the depths of the earth, and deep inside me is the potter's wheel. All the imagery of God as Artist is called up, Divine Knitter, Weaver, Potter. Somehow I am now a workshop, my womb a drafting board. I don't know what to think. Why, in the midst of all the aches and pains, the heartburn, nausea, sleepless nights, rotundity and crankiness, do I get to be the drafting table for some new work of God? It fills me with awe as well as gratitude. I can well understand Elizabeth's outburst to Mary: "But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
Fetus As Forerunner
A Catholic guy I met at a youth hostel in Rome asked me a riddle: "Who was the first person in the Gospels to acknowledge the Christ?" "Ummm, Mary? Elizabeth? Gabriel? Wait......one of the 'Friendly Beasts'. Like.......the donkey. Or.....the little drummer boy?" It turned out to be John, in utero. "As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leapt for joy." (Luke 1: 44) And so we meet John, who is already fulfilling his great destiny, going on before the Lord, proclaiming His coming. The first person to recognize the Incarnated God, the fulfillment of the ages, of all prophecy, all Pagan mythology (yes, I've been reading 'Surprised By Joy') was still being 'woven together in the depths of the earth', was yet to draw breath. I think the Catholic guy might have been trying to make a point about abortion, I don't know, but I came away from that with the idea that if God can use even the ones that aren't considered (by some) to be fully human-I guess the 'Personhood Fairy' hasn't visited them yet-how much more can He still somehow use me, as broken and 'in process' as I am?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

joyful. I keep thinking of Hendrix burning his guitar at Monterey Pops. There is only so much joy and beauty you can handle before something catches on fire.

rosa said...

I know exactly what you mean.

Blessed said...

That's funny--when G was in the womb, slithering all around, all I could think about was Alien. ; )

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.