Lately, I am in awe of the divine drama occurring in my COVID-19 inspired garden.
Scene One: A city boy with meagre interest in gardening and farming starts, only as a form of therapy, to counter the vicious, emotional and mental onslaught of the COVID restrictions. With God all is possible!
Scene Two: The hesitant acceptance of a cluster of baby banana plants. Contrary to my desire, construction workers separated and replanted them. In the cruel dry season prior to COVID-19, I am motivated to water them. Why? I did not want to face the feeling of embarrassment and shame that would result from their death. Voila! Amidst the death-dealing pandemic, they gave birth to several bunches of banana. Food that fed the hungry in the pandemic. “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”
Scene Three: Creation mimics the death and birth of life. I planted three baby fruit trees – lime, mango, and pommecythere (golden apple or June plum). Within weeks of planting, green leaves turned yellow and leaves started curling; death seemed to have pitched camp. What’s happening? I have no clue. Oh my God! A friend comes to the rescue. It’s the mealybug! Cleverly they trick the plants to curl their leaves under which they hide eggs. Neem solution comes to the rescue! Another of God’s creation. But, what’s the source of the mealybugs? “Father, you have red ants on your property.” There’s a symbiotic relationship between the ants and the mealybug. The ants store the mealybugs in their underground chambers; it’s food for the ants, protection and protection and regeneration for the bugs; the teenager bugs escape, infect the plants, lay eggs, and the cycle starts again. Wow!
Scene Four: My garden becomes a playground and dining table for teenage iguanas. Bachac ants travel great distances to collect fallen red petals for food supply; parrots make morning and evening pit stops en route to and from work; and the birds and I sign a contract to succulent guavas. Talking of guava… one day, several guavas were added to smoothie which fed a passing vagrant. His face glowed!!!
Wow! Pope Francis words are true: “If we approach nature and the environment without this openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs. By contrast, if we feel intimately united with all that exists, then sobriety and care will well up spontaneously.” (Laudato Si)