Worth as Value

For many years my neighbor across the street lived in a beautiful old country house surrounded by four huge, tall, evergreen tress that were at least 200 years old. They were so tall they seemed to reach the clouds. Every storm we had, I wa

tched the trees, sway and almost do back bends. They were so strong and inspiring. In her back yard, amid the trees, the elderly lady had the most beautiful flower garden you ever saw, and she had made it into a community garden. People from our block came there in friendship to work in the garden, tend to the flowers, and as they did, they extended love to one another.

We are now in an era that sees the need for localization. People everywhere are starting community gardens, converting vacant lots to vegetable gardens where a whole community works. Community is love extended in action.

Then one day my neighbor passed over. Her daughter inherited this paradise. However, instead of maintaining it she sold the house and property to a real estate agent. Our community watched in horror as a bulldozer came and tore down the house and the garden, but the worst was yet to come. Tree haters came with the intention of destroying those four 200 year trees!! First they cut off all the limbs of the trees, then they climbed the trees with their spikes and used a chain saw to cut the tops off the trees. Then they would slide down and chop off more until there was nothing left but a stump. Then the machines came and pulled the stump and all its roots out of the ground. As I watched all of this I was horrified. I felt the pain of the trees. (They are part of the sonship too and every part of the sonship, even a grain of sand, is sentient!) I wept for them. I have never experienced such pain communicated to my mind from the trees. Their first feeling was utter surprise and betrayal. They had been there, loyally standing guard for two hundred years. And then, the physical pain as they were tortured to death. All of this was done so the real estate agency could make a big ugly house for rich people to buy. You wonder, what kind of a person would be drawn to buy a house that was built over such destruction. Once again, we humans, failed a test to understand “worth” verses money. That old house, with its community garden and 200 year old trees was “worth” an enormous amount to this block. People who do not know worth will have no trouble destroying, not only trees, but animals, to build an ugly house. We had many sections of land here in Burnaby that were wild and inhabited by coyotes, Bears, and foxes and raccoons. The “industrialists” cleared all the wild property without any regard for the trees or animals living there. Now we have a problem of coyotes eating neighborhood cats, and bears frightening children! Such insanity!

ACIM tells us that everything, down to the smallest grain of sand, is a part of the Son of God. We are to forgive our brothers, but how do we forgive nature, or rather how does nature forgive US! We forgive nature by protecting it. The Course knows the same compassion as Buddhism, but the Course goes further and tells us that everything is sentient!!! Now scientists are seeing that. Fruit trees grow better fruit if music is played for them, and the branches grow in the direction of the speakers. Flowers grow prettier if you talk nicely to them and pat them gently. We have many, many brothers on this planet and we are not doing a good in compassion. That’s why a community garden is so important. It brings us and our flower and tree brothers together in love.