Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Encountering Nature, Part 6: Entropy

Parts of our lawn are a beautiful deep green while other parts had been turning brown and dry, so we went out to run the sprinkler system through its cycle and see what we could see. I discovered that one of the sprinkler heads had become blocked by a tree branch which had grown thick in the middle of the spray, blocking the water from a section of lawn. I found other stuff, too -- weeds which had appeared from nowhere to make their home in the bark, bushes beginning to encroach on sidewalk space, grasses taking root in cement cracks.

Of course, this is the normal stuff inherent to caring for a home with the unnaturally imposed order of flower beds, little bushes, and trimmed lawns. It happens gradually, appearing in my irritation as if the plants are being sneaky, pretending not to be claiming their own turf and calling it home.

Here's the thing -- living things change; it's just what they do. Fixing the sprinkler system and setting it loose to do its work without periodically checking in is just foolish. Pulling weeds from the flower beds and assuming they'll stay tidy is unrealistic. Cleaning the house and returning from vacation to find it dusty should not surprise me.

And here's another thing -- we human beings are living things, too. We change; it's what we do. This is true individually, and the effect often is magnified interpersonally. Establishing patterns of relationship with others and continuing in those without periodically pausing together to evaluate and adjust is foolish. Addressing a conflict and assuming all will stay perpetually smooth is unrealistic. Engaging again after a time without interaction and experiencing some hiccups along the way should not surprise me.

As we continue to work toward bringing order back to the physical property of our home, I want to care better also for the landscape of my own soul and the landscape of my relationships -- attending appropriately to changes and adjusting accordingly, removing "weeds" of distraction and broken relationships, cultivating the soil of genuine love and truth.

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