I was browsing through a used book store, and I looked through a lot of gardening type books. They are either country kitsch books, how to plant this or that books, or native gardening type books. I'm sure I missed some categories. The point is, the category of book I was looking for didn't seem to exist - a book by a guy who is carving out a relationship, indeed a romance, with his land. It isn't that I don't want to know how to do this or that, but that is all mechanics. If you love the place, you are hungry for mechanics, that is true.If you love the place, you love what is indigenous to it; that IS the place.
But I want to extract the poetry, the music, the dance, the color, the delight from the land. This is different than conforming it to my will. I am part of this land, part of this place. I have come lately and will be here for only a blip of time. I work carefully, I touch it lightly, I walk with worship and see the hand of the God who is real in what is here. There are many and very great challenges, and I realize that this land is much stronger and much greater than I am. I lack knowledge, I lack wisdom, and I lack love, for THIS land, the land where I am. In many cases, this land ends up whipping my butt. I do complain!
However, this does not mean my LOVE for the place, my appreciation of the incredible beauty of the place, the history of it, has diminished in the least. Nor does it mean I demean myself in light of my failures here; I came knowing that I have very much to learn, very much to adapt to. I am in a way a stranger here, and I am in the process of being changed. It is painful and I very much love it, I really do.