Gardener at Heart - Book Two


God is out on the hills, drumming.

He has found a nice big long chunk of hollow oak in the woodpile

And split off all the bark, and carved the inside smooth,

And stretched some rawhide over one end,

And gone out to see what he can do with it.

He is out there now, sitting on a rock

in the dappled shade of an oak tree,

drumming softly with his hands.

Out of the secret woods

flies a pair of downy woodpeckers.

They land on a nearby tree,

and look, and listen, and hitch up the trunk a bit,

and join in the drumming.

Then a red-shafted flicker comes,

watches with a bright eye,

finds a resonant dead branch,

and joins in, too.

Then some nuthatches come,

both red- and white-breasted,

working down the trunks with staccato beaks.

Then a big pileated woodpecker comes,

flaring his red crest,

and starts excavating a snag in perfect rhythm.

All around, the crickets begin chirping,

and the fence lizards come through the bushes

in fits and starts

and climb up on the rocks

and do little push-ups,

flashing their blue undersides.

And the click beetles come,

snapping and turning aerial somersaults around God’s ankles.

One little woodpecker even flies down

to the side of God’s drum.

Everyone is drumming, louder, stronger, fuller, brighter,

drumming out a tapestry, a laminated cadence,

until the very marrows of the trees begin to beat,

and the half-buried rocks fairly resonate;

yes, everyone is drumming up a gradual crescendo,

slowly increasing, greatening,

growing together to the final bright triumphant stroke—Hey!


For one moment

Everyone is silent in unison.

And then God grins and says, “Hey, everyone, that was great!”

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