Sunday, April 28, 2013

Don't eat of that tree

What goat could resist?

Today I opened the gate to the part of the garden near the house - the part we usually keep off limits to the goats.

The grass has grown very high, very fast, and blackberry has crept in behind the tool shed. Perfect browse for the ever hungry goats, I thought.

I gave Noah a long, slender branch and asked him to gently block the goats if they tried to get into the flower bed.

Most of the flowers are hardy perennials that no amount of chewing could damage, but the red flowering currant is not.

I showed Noah the rose bush, overgrown with akebia.

Let them eat that.

Let them have the huge bottom leaves of the artichoke. It's a thistle, and goats love thistle, right?

Let them fill their bellies with the long green grass.

They've eaten enough fresh grass this spring; I'm no longer worried they will bloat. 

Just keep them away from the currant tree.

It has a single, slender trunk and one good chomp would kill it.

Alstroemeria - who needs it?

In they came, sampling and tasting here and there. A bite of garlic leaf was enough.

A puff of dandelion seed tickled too much to try for more. The alstroemeria is spreading everywhere. Take it down, goats.

Dandelions. Help yourself!
But within ten minutes, Meggie was shoving past Noah and his feeble stick and reaching for the fading red blossoms of my little currant.

"Mom, help".

Out I ran, yelling at the goats,

"I let you have everything in the garden, except this one tree.

Why do you have to eat it? Out you go".

As we rounded them back out I realized I have once again done it.

I've paraphrased the first book of Genesis.

This happens a lot lately. Why did my family eat the nice cookies I hid for the bake sale, when I left all the slightly damaged ones on a plate for them?

Why did I eat all the candy in Noah's treat drawer when the fridge is stocked full of healthy, cut up vegetables and fruits?

Why does the kid play in his room when the spring is so glorious I can hardly breathe in all the fragrance of earth and flower?

Lightning, cast out of the garden, turns her head away

I used to read that book with bitterness in my heart. I wholeheartedly identified with Adam and Eve. Why create temptation that can't be resisted? 

But over time my sympathies have changed and I begin to see the viewpoint attributed to God. Being responsible means acknowledging that others are agents of their own will.

It is deeply frustrating watching others make decisions I don't agree with. But it's the nature of living among others.

I will say. Those who know me know, I am not a believer.Yet these stories resonate strongly with me. Some part of me says they are literally true.The story of the fall didn't happen once, then. It happens all the time.Genesis just tells it like it is.
Noah guarding the tree with a sword (his idea, I didn't suggest this)

A fence. Best plan yet.

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