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April 23, 2005
We have been away from home for a couple of days. All the way home, from airport to bus to subway to train to taxi, I have been thinking about little but the garden. The lupine seeds: up yet? The adenaphora confusa: too big to transplant? The tulips: how many, and did the new ones bloom? The transplanted roses: over their shock? Was there enough rain? It is hard to leave the garden in the spring -- so much is going on.

The taxi pulls up and we get out. One glance and my heart leaps: it is even more beautiful than it was when we left. Glorious daffodils and more tulips, purple, white, deep pink. The redbud tree is blooming, and the forsythias send their graceful branches toward the sky.

And less obvious beauties have continued in our absence: the lavender plants all have new leaves. The little cotyledons of the lupines are, indeed, green against the dirt. There is a nice blue bell-shaped clustering flower whose name I don't know: I must have planted her last year and forgotten -- the lighter side of memory loss.

You start a garden, but God takes it from there. You care for it the best you can, but it is already endowed with its own powerful vector of life and fecundity: beauty comes naturally to every citizen of it. But maybe even God longs to check on it: He was walking in the Garden of Eden the morning after Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Maybe God hungers to see how things are doing, just as we do. And maybe the heart of God leaps at the beauty of it all.
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