Making my way through the Garden

I have spent the last few weeks traipsing about the garden, crossing borders, flying across seas, walking on beaches world renowned as the most beautiful beaches on earth, and dashing madly through the ‘City in the Sun’.  Yet, the most beautiful part of these last few weeks remains the time spent with my family, periods spent with my dearest friends (those I managed to meet in all the hurry), and rushing about coordinating the recording and participation at mass of a choir from my little corner of the garden on their first ever visit to the big ol’ ‘City in the Sun’.

As I rushed about packing and unpacking, and moving from one place to another, a thought became clear in my mind… a thought that I have talked about before, but which never ceases to impress me with its power every time it presents itself to me:  ‘The Garden is where we make it.’

I love my corner of the Garden, where the wild animals play, and where man and beast live as one.  Yet, the love of being with family and friends cannot be surpassed by this.  The joy of being among people who love you cannot be measured however much one may love God’s wonderful animal kingdom.

The past weeks were a time of change… from one year onto another… a time for possible new perspectives and new beginnings.  What will the rest of life hold for me?  How will I deal with the joys and challenges the rest of life brings?  Yet, even as I pondered this, my thoughts returned to that one phrase: ‘The Garden is where we make it.’… and it is up to me to make it what it is and will be.

As I look at the events of the last few weeks, I recognize once again the power of our actions, thoughts and words upon each other each and every day.  For, even though the world renowned beaches were beautiful…

Beautiful beaches on a beautiful Island

Beautiful beaches on a beautiful Island

… after all, they ARE created by God …

A land is as beautiful as the people in it make it... in mind, body, spirit, and soul

A land is as beautiful as the people in it make it... in mind, body, spirit, and soul

Yet the reception to me was hostile, the people indifferent and unwelcoming, and within a short while I could hardly wait to see the last of those beaches.

 … the Garden is where we make it… God has granted it to us and it is up to us to make it the Garden that it should be… one that is both beautiful to behold, and to experience in every way…

Back I went to the ‘City in the Sun’, world renowned for its industrious middle class, one time tribal clashes, and robbery.  Yet this is where I found love and understanding.  It was among friends, from near and far, from forever to forever, that I felt at peace… sitting and chatting from the mid afternoon and on late into the night … as though we were hoping that somehow the day would never end, even as our concentration faded and our eyes began to shut in the cool African night.  It was in friendly surroundings that I found a sense of belonging, a sense of welcoming, right from the immigration desk into the country, and back out again.

A sense of warmth fills my heart as I make my way in stages back to my corner of the Garden…sharing memories and moments with family, and stopping briefly at the foot of the tallest mountain in Africa…

Kilimanjaro - the tallest mountain in Africa

Kilimanjaro - the tallest mountain in Africa

  … and on to the ‘Geneva of Africa’ at the foot of a tall and steep mountain.

Mt Meru - overlooking 'the Geneva of Africa'

Mt Meru - overlooking 'the Geneva of Africa'

A cloudy-peaked Mt Meru at sunset

A cloudy-peaked Mt Meru at sunset

I thank God for having created me and placed me squarely where He wanted me… a place where warmth and loving one another as oneself is the order of the day… no matter that often we lose our way in other ways.

So, make your part of the Garden a beautiful place… by your actions, your warmth, your welcoming smile, your acceptance and love of others as yourself.  And yes, should you feel the need for a change … a different place… a different pace … a brief exchange…

… Come… walk with me in the Garden…

The Garden is where you make it

The Garden is where you make it - it is up to you to make it beautiful

The beauty of the Garden ... it is all up to you

The beauty of the Garden ... it is all up to you

 Copyright (c) 2010. Ophelia Swai. All Rights Reserved

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2 thoughts on “Making my way through the Garden

  1. O Babu September 20, 2010 at 6:20 am Reply

    This story re-emphasises to me the existance of opposites in the garden and that they are dependent on each other.. and may be the same thing on a continuum…..unfriendly cannot exist without friendly, good without bad, caring and uncaring etc. etc etc. What we have to do in the garden is to accept their existance to avoid the hurting that usually accompany the “negative” experiences while we find answers. With a different perspective you may still go back to the beautiful beaches and be happy!!!

  2. Lubna October 10, 2010 at 6:17 am Reply

    Thank you for this reminder. Feel free to visit my blog, whenever time permits.

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