Pauline—one of the Loyola Hall team—Pauline spends most of late winter trying to convince the rest of us, at every meal, that the beech trees are about to get their leaves. The rest of us peer at the barren branches and enjoy ourselves pouring scorn on Pauline. This goes on regularly for weeks until she loses heart. Then one day you look out the window yourself and there they are—somehow the trees have crept up on you and covered themselves with green fuzz. And before you know it everywhere is bright with that fresh tender salad-y green.
Living in a garden like this one, that kind of thing happens all year round. There’s a particular dark-red rhododendron that pokes me in the eye once a year when one morning in early summer I pull back my curtains and somehow it has crept into full and blousy bloom when I’d swear it wasn’t even budding the night before.
And come the autumn there’s another morning shocker for me when I open my other curtain and the copper beech outside is on fire. It always catches me unawares and startles me with its sudden molten brilliance.
If I listened with my eyes to the parables the garden preaches I’d be a wiser man and a happier and holier one. I’d sit more comfortably in my own sluggish skin. I’d despair a lot less at my fruitless prayers. And I’d find more than my share of joy when God’s disproportionate grace sticks it tongue out, right in my face, and says ‘told you so!’