No Temple made by mortal human hands can ever compare to the Temple made by the gods themselves. That building of wood and stone that houses us and that many believe conceals the great Secret Temple from prying eyes, somewhere in its heart of hearts, is but a decoy for the masses who need this simple concrete thing in their lives. The real Temple is the whole world, and there is nothing as divinely blessed as a blooming growing garden.
The Sunlight on the GardenThe sunlight on the gardenHardens and grows cold, We cannot cage the minuteWithin its nets of gold, When all is toldWe cannot beg for pardon. Our freedom as free lancesAdvances towards its end; The earth compels, upon itSonnets and birds descend; And soon, my friend, We shall have no time for dances. The sky was good for flyingDefying the church bellsAnd every evil ironSiren and what it tells: The earth compels, We are dying, Egypt, dyingAnd not expecting pardon, Hardened in heart anew, But glad to have sat underThunder and rain with you, And grateful tooFor sunlight on the garden.
On the warm stone walls, climbing roses were just coming into bloom and great twisted branches of honeysuckle and clematis wrestled each other as they tumbled up and over the top of the wall. Against another wall were white apple blossoms on branches cut into sharp crucifixes and forced to lie flat against the stone. Below, the huge frilled lips of giant tulips in shades of white and cream nodded in their beds. They were almost finished now, spread open too far, splayed, exposing obscene black centers. I've never had my own garden but I suddenly recognized something in the tangle of this one that wasn't beauty. Passion, maybe. And something else. Rage.
After Nicholas hung up the phone, he watched his mother carry buckets and garden tools across the couch grass toward a bed that would, come spring, be brightly ablaze as tropical coral with colorful arctotis, impatiens, and petunias. Katherine dug with hard chopping strokes, pulling out wandering jew and oxalis, tossing the uprooted weeds into a black pot beside her. The garden will be beautiful, he thought. But how do the weeds feel about it? Sacrifices must be made.