Spent a wonderful Saturday in the garden. I guess I can say it was productive in the sense that I filled both ours and the greater share of our neighbor’s compost bin. At the end of the day, I did some more weeding. By mistake, I pulled up a few Nasturtiums, and like the rest of it, it ended up in an old nursery pot for now. Since there isn’t an inch of room left in the compost bin, I was thinking that when the entire neighborhood rolls out their bins on garbage pick-up day, I could hopefully sneak it into one of the others. Yesterday (as in three days later), in the evening, I happened to walk by it outside. To my surprise, I saw this perfectly beautiful Nasturtium glowing in the twilight, atop the wilting pile of refuse. If there was any logic to anything, this uprooted beauty should look like the others – but it didn’t. Here is this flower, in the midst of death and decay, days after its life is violently disrupted by forces beyond its control – and still, it shines on. Unsought, and given the past week’s horrendous event, witnessing its grace and fighting spirit made me think of the grieving families and friends, left to pick up the pieces after the Charleston massacre. Suffering excruciating pain and despair, they have no choice but to go on facing the world that caused that pain with senseless violence. In that moment, the Nasturtium that refuses to back down and die, somehow became a symbol of the power, strength, and love within the Charleston community, as they suffer through the aftershocks of this unspeakable tragedy. The will to live is remarkably strong in all living things. Only time will tell whether it is strong enough in all of us to live and let live – and to trump the ugly face of blatant as well as covert, institutionalized racism.
(Seriously – check that short little video link out – what it covers is pretty astounding…)