Darrell and I returned from Hawaii late last Sunday, a trip to celebrate my 50th birthday. We were on the Big Island of Hawaii for a week, soaking up the tropical weather, volcanic landscape, and the flora and fauna of a different biome. We stayed near Kilauea, and several days we went into the Volcanoes National Park. You cannot get very close to active lava, but at twilight and in the dark, you can see the red glow from the crater lighting up the rising column of smoke. The last night there, we had reservations at the restaurant overlooking the crater, and I was overwhelmed by the new creation that was all around me. I was also moved by the violent destruction that takes place before any new creation can occur there; an explosion blows off the top of a crater, lava flows and kills anything in its path. While expanding the size of the island it creates a barren landscape that will take centuries and millennia to return to rainforest. The power of Pele, the goddess of Volcanoes, Creation, and Fire, was present in that space.
Soon we will be undergoing our own new creation, and it will require some demolition. The north, east and south sides of our property will be undergoing new landscaping with mostly native plants, a project funded by the bequest of Jill Bryans. It will require removal of some of the plants that are currently in our publicly visible green spaces. There will be mud, there will be noise, there will be the inconvenience of getting around and through the different areas of our outside space. There will be the power of machines, and the vulnerability of new growth as we upgrade the face we present outward to our community.
The work is slated to begin right after Easter Sunday, and continuing through much of the Easter Season. What a theologically appropriate time to start create a new garden! We will see death, resurrection, and new life right in our front yard. Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the Life,” and I’m praying that he will oversee the resurrection and new life of our new, native landscaping.
As it gets closer we will let you know where the work will be and if there are any restrictions to entrances on the property. For now, as I look out my office window at the rain, and think about all the rain we experienced last week in Hawaii, I know that from rain comes growth, and I look forward to the completion of this next project in our Vision 2020 plans.
Prayers to all of you as we move through Lent and into the season of Easter.