Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Listen to the Earth, Mr. President

Most of you know that I am a master gardener. What you may not know is that in my world gardening isn’t just a skill or even a hobby. It is a spiritual path. Every flower, seed, tree, herb and shrub is my companion along that path. When my grandmother initiated me into the Celtic Witchcraft some 40 years ago she asked me a single question, "What will be your work – will you be a healer or a teacher or a defender of the faith." I answered, "I will tend the earth and in doing so will be all of these."

I have gained a great deal of wisdom on my path. The Earth teaches much that can be applied to our daily lives,indeed it is all part of the same thing or as the Pagans say, "As above, so below." Perhaps the most important lesson the Earth has taught me about gardening and living is to plant things where they grow. I can’t tell you how many idiots plant roses in the shade or impatiens in the blazing hot, high summer sun.

This single lesson has been of inestimable value in helping me to understand any one of a number of conundrums that have troubled me deeply. For instance, the lethargy of the Obama Presidency and his dithering White House. From dumping the public option to watering down the financial reform bill to kicking comprehensive immigration and energy reform under the bus, not to mention Afghanistan and that insipid foolishness of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” I find myself vacillating from disappointment to disgust to despondency. I doubt that I am the only Liberal in this country who feels that way.

Looking through the eyes of a gardener I have come to the conclusion that Barack Obama has planted his administration in the wrong soil. He planted it in the soil of bipartisanship and magnanimousness which is okay as far as it goes. However, today that soil has been sterilized even poisoned by the rancor of the opposing party. Men like Emanuel keep telling him to amend soil. Gardeners cannot amend sterile or poisoned soil. We can only wait until the Earth heals Herself. Obama hasn’t that kind of time.

I believe he must dig up his administration, clean off and trim the roots (he could start by washing Emanuel out of the White House)then replant it in a large pot filled with good Progressive soil. The Progressive media and blogosphere - which Obama seems inclined to ignore a good deal of the time - would be slow acting chelates to release nutrients into the soil as their levels begin to fall. This is what a good gardener would do to save a beautiful plant from bad soil.

Finally, if he doesn’t want to limp out of Washington in '12 dragging an anemic and mutilated legacy behind him, he needs to aggressively apply the insecticide and fungicide of sunlight and truth. The insects at Fox News and the systemic fungal infection that is the right wing media and blogosphere have dealt blow after blow to the immunity of his administration. Gardeners must be forceful in dealing with pests or infections and so must he.

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