A task of hope

photo: Gill Henwood.

A Task of hope.
My friend Gill Henwood has offered us a meditation from the Lake District:

Acer palmatum dissectum
Century old trees that have grown through the pergola, turning vermilion scarlet and glowing with fire across the fields.

Thomas Mawson, garden designer, and his team completed the garden (near Hawkshead in the Lake District) in 1922, after the First World War. When we replaced the pergola we left off the cross pieces in the centre having pruned back rampant rambling and climbing roses that were entangled in the trees. A task for two of us, kitted out with leather gauntlets, thorn proof jackets with hoods up! I seem to recall it was pouring with rain too…

Pruning and cutting back in the autumn is a task of hope, that there will be new growth and new flourishing in the Spring. This autumn, our Japanese maples are singing a Gloria in Excelsis for their light and airy home, facing east in the chilly, wet Lake District but absolutely thriving, 100 years on.

When I feel I’m being ‘pruned’ by life’s ups and downs, challenges and opportunities, I’ll look at the photo and remember the maples’ absolute triumph, giving such joy to those who hike the footpath below – and maybe even to the sheep, safely grazing in the field!


A Gardener’s Prayer          

Heavenly Father, creator of all things,
help us to realize that we are custodians of the wonderful heritage
with which you have so generously endowed us.
Give us the minds and the hearts to rejoice in your creation,
and to walk through your beautiful world with seeing eyes.
Help us to save the good earth, the stately trees, the dainty wildflowers,
the birds and all things that have no voice to protest against destruction.
We thank you for your bounty and pray we may be worthy of it.

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