A Garden Plot
On paper I ordained my garden grid
neat and sqaure and true, laid out with no
vanishing point, t-square perfect, a grim
mathematician's dream of order. And so
I went out to the real garden--neither wide
nor true, squared with no boundaries I could
see, rough, rocky, low, unkempt--and I tried
to set my level straight upon the ground.
With stakes and twine I pinned the garden's frame,
here I hit a pebble and so moved the stake,
for a tree the line bowed out there, a claim
from a neighbor moved a line, a stream made
a jog, and so it continued until
I had the whole laid out--to no avail--
my grid, a wrecked rhombus, skewed in untilled
soil, shaped by Earth, not by hand, not the plot
I had plotted but one completed by
hands unseen. My vision of a perfect
garden plot came undone, and with it me.
I stand, unmade by my own attempt to
make, and delighted with the design that
moves beyond my own meager means and ways.
What can I find in this design? Can I
come to better know the hand that formed it
the mind that made it? Can I come to love
what I could not see 'til I failed in my
design? Can I give myself over to
another, grander designer--a new
lover who will love me to perfection--
who I cannot see and do not know? Only
if I abandone plumb and t-square, only
if I give Him the chance to shape me as
His secret garden, His perfected love.
Only if I abandon me among
the garden paths, amid the perfections
I had no hand in making--I strive so
hard to see. Here among the lilies and
the irises, amid the willows, oaks
and maples. Here alone may I again
find the me the Maker made me to be.