“Chafer Beetles and Moss” DS
A sky-full of pink flowers came up on my inbox this week. I sat mesmerized by the hijacked blue space above blackish tree trunks with picnickers below. I noticed that the branches were not symmetrical, nor were they asymmetrical. They grew in a misplaced tangle of branches. The master gardeners at VanDusen could have stopped this mess. Surely they could have pruned saplings into a pleasing pattern of limbs.
I felt the same way when I first moved to B.C. “Couldn’t some one clean up the dead tree trunks in the forest?” I thought. I came from a city of manicured lawns, of new plantings, of clean tidy suburbs.
Only gradually have I come to realize the great cost of having arborists prune every tree here. Stanley Park would be like a hothouse for trees. Was it not enough to see all of the chain saws after the blow-downs of the 2006 windstorm and re-plantings? It is the wildness, immensity and density of the growth in the park that make its beauty.
“So could it be this way with humans too?” I ponder. We look at the tangle of behaviours, that annoy and confuse us, especially our own, and wonder how a perfect God could love us. An ad on TV pleads with us to “bring back our children’s ‘wildhoods.’” What!
I admit that wildness can be ugly as seen on the blackened wet sidewalks of the Downtown East Side of Vancouver. Yet the sense of community there can be strong. I think of the saying that God lets the tares grow with the wheat until a future time to burn them (Book of Matthew). The question comes to me: “Do weeds have beauty, have necessity, have purpose?”
Out my front window I see a lawn that is the worst mess ever. Lime-coloured winter moss has crept over it. The gardener came with his rolling drum cutter and took regular round plugs of soil out of the earth “so that the lawn can breathe”, he said. The chafer beetle had already done that, but I guess the gardener needs his earnings. The scene is an ugly mess that cannot be called a lawn. “It would have to be replaced. But it would just come back again,” I mused. I don’t know: “Can I live with this collage of green and brown?”
Questions with solutions arise: “Would more plantings of colour this summer take the eye away from the chaos? Could I sow wildflowers in the remaining grass?” Perhaps my yard will become a mini Stanley Park with the wildness/wilderness barely controlled. “Is this the way to handle family get-togethers too?” comes the thought.
Spring chafered lawns and canopies of pink flowers co-exist. Can this be perfection – at least for now?