I have eaten strawberries for lunch today, picked from our own garden, large red and delicious. Lovely, but… I have had to share them! With wood lice and slugs. It is disappointing to pick a large ripe fruit and discover it is hollow, eaten from the inside. Still, c’est la vie as they say, and some careful washing and cutting gave us plenty of sweet mouthfuls to enjoy.
I also mowed the lawn this morning, and it looks smooth and lush. But there is a cost… the destruction of a starry spread of pretty daisies and buttercups. Garden life is an inevitable mixture of growth and cutting down.
Life often seems to be this muddle of disappointment, compromise and worse. We spent a lovely few days with friends this weekend in London. We watched the amazing spectacle of the Trooping of the Colour, wandered the parks, ate ice creams and saw the sights in the sunshine. We cruised on the Thames and enjoyed good food and each other’s company. But the darker side to London life was revealed with the news of the terrorist attack on London Bridge and the shadow of this and previous terrorist attacks was never far from our awareness, not least because of the presence of so many armed police.
C’est la vie is an expression which usually conveys a necessary acceptance of disappointments and times when life is not neat and tidy. Times when it is hard to reconcile the minor paradoxes and contradictions of life beyond our control, such as woodlice in strawberries.
But for me the contradictions and horror of terrorist attacks aren’t so easy to just accept and then carry on with life. It is a dilemma which can’t be shrugged off. Is such violence and destruction an inevitable part of life? Or is this a time to ask the question why? Time to seek understanding and consider ways to initiate change without retaliation? Can there be a resistance to such hatred which does not return evil for evil?
I am still pondering … No easy answers.