My garden’s inspiration
It is always a joy to write in surroundings which inspire me to think of everything that I love in life and make me want to share my happiness with others. Well, being fortunate enough to have a corner of my garden as secluded and inspiring as this,(see below) you can see why my mind is so often moved to write about the pleasant things and events that I hear about or meditate upon, rather than just criticising the worst in the world when so much of it is worth praising. The trees and lawn always make me feel really glad that I have had so much good fortune in my time. An education that enlightened me and filled me with pleasure and knowledge. A career that took me to all five continents and let me watch all the different ways in which humanity amuses itself, but therein lies the rub.I so often only saw places because I was sent there to write about the brutal side of mankind. I pray for people caught up in war because invariably it has been my lot to watch organised carnage taking place in stunningly beautiful sites. I got more joy out of hearing Mass sung in Vietnamese in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Saigon than any of the English language horrors of pseudo sacred singing that Vatican two allowed the English speaking world to inflict on its worshippers. I still much prefer Latin to English in Church. But that is probably because it was the only language in the Church until I was nearly twenty five, and, more importantly, as long as Mass was said in Latin I could serve at the altar because I could say the acolyte’s responses. My greatest regret in the Far East was not being able to serve Mass because I did not speak the language. I am sure the assembled prelates at Vatican two never thought of that aspect of what they were changing. But sitting in a lounger in a garden such as this and letting the scenery tell me what to think, and consequently to write, I really do feel that the world is a very nice place. It is only those of us who think solely of their own needs who are blinded to the beauty of creation and have to spoil it. Wars are invariably started for some spurious, right sounding motives but executed in haste and with so little thought for the innocent victims of the hell they are orchestrating, that one can only feel sorry for the politicians who start them. After all, can any man honestly stand up and say “I know what is best for the world” when his own narrow vision of such a small part of it is all that he has to go on when making such a pronouncement? Sadly, too often the decorated hero is the man who had little option but to obey an order, although many soldiers do give their lives trying to save their friends and these I salute from the bottom of my heart. But I started this short reflection on the happiness my garden brings me. Maybe it has told me something more than I expected. Maybe it has told me that I must not forget that everything I have enjoyed in life has been a wonderful gift. It is certainly impossible to say that I have earned the pleasure I have had in my time, because I am only human and not by the longest stretch of the imagination in any way a holy or saintly person. So Why have I been so lucky? I have no idea, but I do know one thing. I have met an awful lot of people who have devoted their lives to helping others and they come to mind so often that I know how little I have contributed compared to the world’s genuine saints. I knew a thirty year old woman who had spent seven years on her own running an orphanage for blind and abandoned children in French West Africa. I had one colleague who gave all his salary, for the three years he was posted to Vietnam, to a nursing home there that had no income but whatever people donated. He could not square his wealth with his conscience, as he put it, and to this day I know how much good he did. I cannot name him, he will not allow me to.
But this is just a photograph that is bringing back memories, pleasant ones as I hoped. Soon it will be cold winter and the grass may well be white, but then, in a few years I suppose I will too. But while my Autumn must inevitably pass through to Winter I know I will never see another Spring. But my garden will!!