Raising tomatoes and Cain–a meditation

“There is always the temptation in life to diddle around making itsy-bitsy friends and meals and journeys for years on end. It is all so self conscience, so apparently moral…But I won’t have it. The world is wilder than that in all directions, more dangerous…more extravagant and bright. We are…raising tomatoes when we should be raising Cain, or Lazarus.”
Annie Dillard

there is nothing tame
or trivial here;
organic gardening
sounds wholesome as granola
& as dull,

but this soil seethes
with lives smaller
than my eyes recognize
passion plays of nematodes
& planaria;

the danger game
of praying mantids
waiting for anything
unwary enough
to wander within grasp;

voracious wolf spiders,
carnivorous beetles
all hunters
until they turn prey
for something hungrier

in my valley garden
I raise tomatoes
but a wilder lesson is there,
whether I see it or not.

It’s simply
a matter of perspective.

I adore Annie Dillard, and I know she is making a much larger point than my little offshoot here–but the naturalist and gardener in me has to defend the lessons learned in the small things we do.  I think we can find that brightness, that extravagance, in just about any corner of the world we happen to be in at the moment.  The trick is seeing it, and saying, “Wow.”

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
This entry was posted in Annie Dillard, New Free Verse and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Raising tomatoes and Cain–a meditation

  1. Interesting metaphor Susan ~ thanks for enlightening me. Goodnight

Comments are closed.