The Wrong Lilies

The Wrong Lilies

Thursday, September 10, 2015


The other morning a butterfly had found its way into the garden room and was clinging to the screen.  At first we feared it had died.  First we carefully opened the screen on the right side, but it didn’t move.  Then we gently nudged it with the finger of a garden glove and off it flew, but not before we captured it in a photograph.  We treasure the birds, butterflies and bees that come around our garden.  We put out bird seed, and we try to plant flowers that will attract butterflies and bees, because all of these creatures help our environment flourish.  And I expect that gardeners in so many parts of the world feel the same about the beneficial creatures that flourish around them.  In fact, gardeners by the very nature of their passion must care about the earth as they deal with plants and creatures and the weather.

Doesn’t that make it all the more strange that when human creatures encounter unbearable environments and seek to find sanctuary, some whole societies refuse to help.  Refusing to help is one thing, but abuse of desperate people as seen on the news over and over again, is inexplicable.   There have been so many instances in history of people having to leave their homeland because of so many reasons, but the primary reason is usually other people.  Our beloved country, the United States, cannot present itself as a sterling example of how to treat desperate refugees, but we must surely find it in ourselves to begin caring about and for the desperate of this world.

When I think of the fact that in all likelihood the old had to be left behind in war-torn places such as Syria and in the troubled countries of South America because they couldn’t endure the travel, and that the strong and the young have had to leave everything behind, endure the terrors of small boats on the open seas, endure horrific loss of life, endure bad weather and all that goes with walking for too many miles without food or water or anyplace to rest but the bare ground or the concrete of cities – when I think then that people who have endured all that and still find mistreatment instead of assistance – then I do wonder what is to become of all of the rest of us.

Because if we cannot summon the humanity to help each other, if we cannot summon the common sense to use negotiation to settle differences instead of using war, and if we cannot open our eyes and see what is happening to the climate of our planet, why, then, my photograph of a butterfly will become a rare thing indeed.

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