by Elizabeth T. Andrews
American Reporter Correspondent
February 10, 2008
PLANT A NEW WORLD THIS SPRING
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. -- For a little while, the men will just have to toss and turn in their fear-free-women beds. For a small space of time Hillary Clinton will just have to trudge on toward the White House without my faint applause in the background.
This morning the words will just have to wait in the wings of my gardener's mind. I am planning my Spring garden and my bulbs don't know a thing about "the situation in the Middle East" or if their dried cow dung has been checked by the FDA (Fertilizer and Dung Administration.)
Sure as God made little pink Georgia peaches, spring will come again. Down from the frozen mountain tops she'll come, through the sleeping valleys, whining to the March wind to get out of her way. She will pause in front of my house where green daffodil blades shiver in the departing chill of winter, pushing their yellow children toward the awaited sun.
There is never a good time for war but there is, forever, a time for salutations to Spring.
A suicide bomber claimed the lives of three more soldiers today. (Should I try to find organic fertilizer for the roses or will this Rose-Miracle stuff do? Will it harm the grand ladybug who came to my garden last year and brought all her relatives?)
Iraq's president stated again that America and Iran should take their skirmishes out of his country. Well, what do you think we are doing in "your country," you ingrate. (I think I'll move the peace rose bush over to the corner where she'll get more morning sun.)
Shiites and Sunnies continue to murder each other in the name of a brutal,invented paper god.
Whatsoever things are good for people ... iris petals of yellow gold and crimson, hollyhocks, Monarch butterflies and lady bugs ... think on these things.
Who shall we blame for the current disastrous happenings all over the globe? Men? Silent, powerless women? God? Bush? To whom can we turn for answers?
Well, OK, I'll put the tulip bulbs down and take a brief coffee break with you. I have no neatly tied bouquet of answers but my opinion is free.
Who shall we blame? The answer lies not in the padding and passing of the proverbial buck, but in ourselves, in our lack of tolerance and our fear of all people whose ideas, opinions, and gods are different from our own.
Every white church that contains no black faces contributes to local and international discord.
Every black anti-white bigot who practices "Up yours, you white jerk" contributes to community craziness and kicks the human race back another half mile.
Every parent who secretly hopes, and vocally encourages, their children to associate with, and eventually marry "one of your own kind" sets in motion the loss of healthy learning through differences.
Every Christian who has no Jewish, Muslim or atheist friends is practicing and perpetuating the unwritten law of smug self-righteousness.
All men who believe "War is a man's game" are poor judges of the inner rage of centuries of oppressed women.
They are right, though, about war being a game. It has, however, no lasting winners, no ending, no goals that keep the peace long enough for our children to one day ask "What's a war?"
In each of us lies the need for group comfort, and if we need too much of that comfort we have learned little about self-government or how to think for ourselves on serious issues of soul-concern.
Although I was raised a bigot in a bigoted world of mountain people, I didn't get it then and I don't get it now ... evaluating any individual on anything other than: I think I can learn a lot from you. Come for coffee and let's talk about a peace garden instead of a bomb factory.
I knew I had not accepted the curse of race-religion brainwashing and bigotry but until I started sorting through my ideas and feelings as I began writing newspaper columns, I didn't know why I had escaped such asinine programming.
Older now, it is all quite clear and simple: Individuals are souls and all souls are spiritually equal.
We all start at the same starting line with physical birth, and our personal race to the finish line is hampered by our reluctance, or enhanced by our willingness, to questioning everything we have ever been taught ... and daring to ask if we agree with it.
If the asking is not rooted in a desire never to wound another soul by our words or actions, then the asking serves as little more than validation of our existing programmed comfort.
What in the name of the wild winter wind does all that have to do with our sometimes glorious, too often violent, human happenings ... or whether or not a hummer will eat out of my hand, come Spring?
Only this: Every rose, every blade of grass, every acorn is not dependent on all the other roses, grass blades or acorns for doing what comes naturally to each. They are, however, long-term co-dependent and must interact with the rest of the garden ... not swill all the water, the natural fertilizer, the sun or none will survive.
Every individual in the human garden has a responsibility, both practical and spiritual, to ask "What can I do today about the human travesty of local and international violence? Am I part of it? Can I get my head above the crowd-craziness long enough to yell: "Hey ! I've got an idea! Why don't we talk about Big Boy tomato plants instead of Big Daddy bombs? Here. Have some of my marigold seeds."
And the daffodil will call to the sleeping tulip "Come on up! The two-legged naked apes have stopped killing each other. The air is warm, the sun is steady and there's enough rich earth for both of us. And there's even enough for that cantankerous forsythia that hogs the sunny spot there in the west corner, always demanding she should be the first to bloom each Spring."
AR Correspondent Elizabeth T. Andrews is based in Cartersville, Ga. Her Website features her columns and poetry. Write her at email@example.com, or at P.O. Box 816, Cartersville, GA 30120.