Of Easter, skunks, and tomatoes #metaphorfailure

I almost didn’t get to Easter Morning Prayer, which I happened to be leading. I stepped out the front door of my house at 6:15 a.m., only to take a very quick step backward. For there on the driveway (between me and my bike), rummaging through a messy smear of garbage, was a skunk. This, of course, was not your lovely Disney-skunk named Flower – this was a waddling, foraging fellow from whom I wanted to keep my distance.

It didn’t take much to scare him off – a bit of banging and shouting and he went scampering behind the neighbour’s house. But this was not the auspicious start to Easter morning that I had been hoping for. I was reminded of John Visser’s recent assertion (I wholeheartedly agree) that natural metaphors simply can’t capture the truth of resurrection. The skunk proves it!

IMG_1691On the other hand, I was confronted this past weekend with a more hopeful natural metaphor – by way of my Tomato seeds. Our CSA farmer (community supported agriculture) has the most delicious variety of cherry tomatoes. So in the Fall I decided to take seeds from a few tomatoes, dry them, and plant them this spring – which I did almost two weeks ago. But after almost two weeks, there was no sign of growth. I even dug out one of the seeds to see if there was any action. Nothing! So I stopped watering.

IMG_1693Then, on Good Friday (once again, this is a natural metaphor FAIL!), signs of growth. I had given up on my tomato seeds, but it was simply a matter of a little patience – and, perhaps, a little less cynicism. Now there are 6 little plants pressing up out of the soil. I’m reminded of the last stanza of a favorite Wendell Berry poem of mine:

The stem bent, pent in seed, grows straight

And stands. Pain breaks in song. Surprising

The merely dead, graves fill with light

Like opened eyes. He rests in rising.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s