So I was outside, doing the usual cutting of the grass and pulling the chicory out of the green strip between the sidewalk and the road, and I look over at this plot of land next door to the house.
Backstory: A few months ago, the Pentecostal Latino Church next door likely took a look at my little patch of grass and decided it was time to do a landscaping project. They put up a little fence to keep the dog poo from the locals who don’t pick up after their dogs, down to a minimum, planted a few accent plants and some very nice juniper bushes.
At first, it was mowed, and then less, and less, and the bushes browned. And greyed. And the weeds got higher.
In my mind, I criticize them and watch as the ugly grows.
And I justified it with “They always park up all the spots across the street and they are CONSTANTLY in Church. You would think, walking past it 3-4 times a week, SOMEONE would fix the problem? If they spent a little less time working on hopes of Heaven, and a little more trying to make a little Heaven right here, it could be beautiful.”
And I felt “good” and “right” and “justified” in my criticism.
And then I thought, “OK. But its still ugly, and its still right next to your house. How does your internal dialog help to make the world more beautiful? Tending your own garden is one of your tenets, but what happens when the gardner next door clearly needs help?”
This weekend, I think they are off at a retreat or a mission or somewhere getting their Jezis on. So I put my garden gloves and my big hat back on, and got out my shovel, and took out the dead bushes and pulled the worst of the weeds.
Its not beautiful. Not even close to “Heaven,” but its a start.
Might be interesting if more people in the world didn’t walk past a problem, criticizing it in their head, put on their garden gloves, and did a little work, hmmmm?