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Life Giving 23: Strength in the Land

This is a test. Have you ever heard of Newport Beach, CA? Huntington Beach? Laguna Beach? Santa Monica Beach? Now how about the beach at Corona del Mar? Most score four out of five.

From time to time I escape from my office and come down to Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar to write. This Servant community has a sweeter atmosphere than the big name beach towns.

What is most remarkable to me, though, is the quality of the vegetation here. California is no stranger to sophisticated gardens designed to celebrate the botanical history of the state. There are surely other gardens with more variety or more unusual species.

However, I doubt that there are any gardens with plants as robustly vibrant as these. And it isn’t because of the climate or the money spent. The entire neighborhood outside Sherman Gardens is replete with extravagantly nurtured landscaping which uniformly lacks the vibrant vitality of these plants, just a block away.

I believe this garden thrives because of the founder’s life and vision. George Hart was his brother’s keeper in 1,000 big and little ways, and the land responded to his life giving by yielding its strength to the plants. Cain’s fratricide resulted in his land being cursed so that the land begrudged him its produce.

Heirloom seeds, special compost and sophisticated watering systems do not compare with a life spent being life giving. The degree to which your land gives back to you is in part related to how skilled and consistent you are in being life giving to your brother.


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