Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Looking for a Changed World

“People here expect a revolution. There will be no revolution, none that that deserves to be called so. There may be a scramble for money. But as all the people we see want the things we now have, and not better things, it is very certain they will, under whatever change of forms, keep the old system. When I see changed men I shall look for a changed world. Whoever is skillful in heaping money now will be skillful in heaping money again.”
- Robert Frost, on his trip to England in 1848

Here’s what I learned sweating all day in vegetable gardens on a Spring day heavy with heat and the promise of more to come. Robert Frost explained something to me.

His message still works. It sounds like Reverend Bob thinks we should change ourselves before we try to change the world. It will take changed men to change the world. That’s an old familiar Theology 101 cliché.

But he adds a capitalist twist wherein it’s money that changes and revolutionizes men. If those other guys only want the same crap we want, well then, crap. I love the way Frost insults people as venial as me, while ostensibly disparaging the veniality of those other people.

While I garden, I become entirely responsible for new growth, for seeds to blossom, for perennials to reawaken from their winter’s sleep. By nurturing these fragile seedlings now, I change the world. They grow into nutritious sustenance in consideration for my careful attention.

Which brings me to what I learned from my garden as I contemplated Frost. I learned that gardening is a way for me to change myself for the better.

And as for capitalism, I make no pretense that my vegetable garden saves me grocery money. It’s simply that by wanting more than store-bought tomatoes this summer, I’ve become one of the people who want better food than we now have. I want a sweet tomato. I know that the tomatoes I harvest later – from the two inch seedlings I watered this morning – will taste better and feed me better. And as for capitalism, in my garden, I learn that it’s definitely better for me (and my tomatoes) to heap compost than to heap money.

Growth is change, and nowhere is this more evident than in a garden. As my garden grows, I grow.

3 comments:

Frances Goodman فرانسيس said...

I see you posted this at 09:30, did you really write all that before 10 in the morning?

Weeping Sore said...

Indeed. Fueled by caffeine, inspired by Nature, and with my trusty companion Bad Kitty by my side. Consider it my Superpower.

Kate said...

How true that is - the more one gardens, the more one grows. It is a continual source of new learning ... and thank you for identifying that beautiful succulent for me.

Since I left before hearing from you, I haven't had a way to get in touch with you. You live in such a beautiful environment.