Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Master Gardener

It's Saturday afternoon and I know that you're all waiting for the women's meeting update! This morning's meeting was about eight of us; the meeting is slowly growing. Several of us start each meeting by reading a passage from a daily meditation book. As I usually do, I read from my favorite, God Calling. This is an excerpt.

"The lifeline, the line of rescue, is the line from the soul to God, faith and power. It is a strong line, and no soul can be overwhelmed who is linked to Me by it. Trust, trust, trust. Never be afraid.

Think of My trees stripped of their beauty, pruned, cut, disfigured, bare, but through the dark seemingly dead branches flows silently, secretly, the spirit-life-sap, till, lo! with the sun of Spring comes new life, leaves, bud, blossom, fruit, but oh! fruit a thousand times better for the pruning.

Remember you are in the hands of a Master Gardener. He makes no mistakes about His pruning. Rejoice. "

I got to the second paragraph and broke up. This has been years of pruning, and this reading struck such a cord in me. One of the newer women sitting next to me looked concerned and said "Are you okay?"

"It's just such a beautiful reading," I said. Unless you've been through the fire, there is no explanation. Hers is about to come, I'm afraid, judging from her share. But you know what, we'll be there for her.

That was the last serious moment in the meeting. We were in rare form today, talking about drunk husbands, domestic abuse, rage, but through it all, we laughed.

One of our married members talked about one of her last drunks on a girl's night at her house. All her women friends were there, and oh, yes, one male, her brother-in-law. She blacked out about half-way through, she said, and woke up in her bed the next morning with a terrible hangover. She couldn't remember what she did after she blacked out, but she racked her brain, hoping she hadn't slept with her brother-in-law! We howled. I'm sorry, but that is a typical women's AA story.

I did have to describe to her one of my friend's bottom. She was my boss at the time and straighter than a yardstick. My boss went to her Lesbian employee's house, one of our coworkers, to a party. My boss went into a blackout and woke up the next morning in her Lesbian employee's bed. My boss couldn't remember if she had sex with her. That was her bottom and she went to AA right two days later.

I always remarked that her bottom would have been a good night for me; but, it isn't what we did that got us here, it's the feelings that accompanied what we did: The shame, the remorse, the desperate attempt to deny the reality of what we'd done. My friend never did ask her friend if they'd, well, done the deal. Denial, in her case, was a wonderful thing.

We had a great meeting and tonight we're having a Girl's Night Out. We're having dinner and going to see the movie Dream Girls.

If we let him, God will dance us to the end of love.


Anonymous said...

Agreed. Her bottom was just another night for me, but I guess if you're straight that could be quite a blow. Glad SOMEthing got her attention.
I read that same passage yesterday -- I think it was posted in These Rooms ( if I remember correctly. It's quite lovely.
How was Dream Girls?

Meg Moran said...

the tears started to come when I got to the 2nd paragraph too...some readings touch us deep, and it is very personal and impossible to explain. I have been a bare tree. I love that quote from (somewhere?) "In the midst of winter, I finaly learned that within me there is an invincible summer"....

vicariousrising said...

I love gardening analogies. I learn a lot just by watching nature.

I also think pruning is a fascinating process. That reading reminds me of an incident about a year before I got sober. I got nicknamed "chainsaw girl" for a bit in one of my earlier sobriety meetings because of a share I did about hacking down (read: pruning)some overgrown spirea bushes in my yard after getting upset about something related to my parents. Both the bushes and I looked worse for the wear. My husband took one look at me, all bloodied and bruised, and one look in the yard, asked me what happened. All I said was, "bad mood." He left me alone the rest of the day.

For the record, I did not use a chainsaw, either. But my group thought I might have a small anger issue.

Part of the idea of pruning, though, is that you got to get rid of all that exterior stuff and let the sunshine in to the core. Otherwise, the plant becomes something of a hollow shell, with only a superficial beauty while it is dead inside.