Shirin McArthur

prayerful pondering

Fungi in the Desert

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photo(7)There has been so much rain here in the desert over the past few weeks that my garden mulch (and occasionally my garden itself) is growing mushrooms. While that’s not so surprising, what did surprise me the other morning was finding fungi growing out of the top of a dead yucca!photo(8) I guess it goes to show that anything is possible—under the right conditions.

Of course, we can influence those conditions to some extent. By paying attention to the conditions that make for fungi growth (steady moisture, indirect light, undisturbed soil), I could choose to replicate those conditions (as people do in their basements) and grow even more mushrooms. Or I can let nature take its course and know that these mushrooms will wilt and fade away…or disintegrate?…as the clear, sunny days of fall eventually arrive.

The same is true of our spiritual life. We can cultivate the conditions for growth, for openness to the work of the Spirit in our lives. We can till the soil of our hearts with various spiritual exercises, add compost by taking the time to reflect upon and learn the lessons of our experiences, and plant the seeds for future growth by absorbing scripture and spiritual books, videos, blogs, movies, tweets, etc.

And so I ask you: what are the conditions of your heart? Is it well-tilled, well-composted, fertile soil for the growth of love and compassion, or has it been largely ignored, compacted by the tromp of overactive feet along the pathways of your days?

What would need to happen to make your heart fertile ground for the work of the Spirit?

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