Plants in Paradise

Showing someone my herb and vegetable garden the other day, I was struck by how quickly and prolifically weeds grow. Give the ground, which appears to be full of seeds for their species, a little water and a little time, and a profusion of green erupts from the brown soil with no effort on my part.

How great is the contrast with raising ‘useful’ plants. Why do my vegetables not grow like that? Why is it that weeds grow fast and crowd out  my vegetables instead of it being the other way around? Why are ‘useful’ plants comparatively fragile and need great care and attention to produce well?

Rereading C.S. Lewis’s “Space Trilogy” (Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, That Hideous Strength), I noted that his description of the paradasiacal state on Venus (Perelandra) contrasts sharply with our experience. There, the food-producing plants flourish on their own without man’s help. He eats when he has need of food, food is always at hand, and it is always “the best” he has ever tasted. He is at peace with the animals. Indeed, the resources of the planet are marshalled to serve the newly-made man.

What must Paradise have been like for our race! Yet we know nothing of it. Our lives are lived in a world made much less hospitable, even hostile to us, a world from which we must wrest our living with great effort, a world which readily produces ‘thorns and thistles’ and weeds in abundance. But I long for a world where the vegetables will crowd out the weeds…

Published in: on Wednesday, 27 May, 2009 at 08:27  Comments (1)  
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