\ Earthlines Summer 2012 Conflict as Growth

Skyline, Summer - 2012

By Diane Pendola

Conflict as Growth

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The newly unfolding plant,
having split its seed
and sent down roots,
and sent up shoots,
senses obstruction:
more than the breaking of the surface;
there is something harder, heavier, fixed;
It feels like movement stops.
Yet roots are thrusting deeper,
searching for the unseen nutrient,
the yet-to-be tapped sources.
Roots expand, multiply, diversify into
tendrils, veins, while the
tap-root descends ever deeper.
Imperceptibly life gropes beneath the surface
until she finds a way around and through.

I can sense this movement in my own life and in our collective life. Below the surface of our conscious minds, in the shadow lands of our institutions, in the dark below the threshold of reason, there is an instinctual dimension that sinks into the raw unknown. A tap-root is sent down the spine of our humanness into the cosmic-divine, groping toward source and sustenance, rooting into something so much bigger than our small perspectives and limited views.

Trust. Trust. And Trust
This is our work right now, personally and collectively

As Thomas Berry says so eloquently: "We must feel that we are supported by that same power that brought the Earth into being, that power that spun the galaxies into space, that lit the sun and brought the moon into its orbit.... Those same forces are still present; indeed, we might feel their impact at this time and understand that we are not isolated in the chill of space with the burden of the future upon us and without the aid of any other power."

I think we humans often experience these moments of growth as moments of crisis, of pain or of conflict. Our lives move along imperceptible lines until suddenly there is a moment when our heart breaks or we meet what feels like an insurmountable obstacle, whether it be within ourselves, our relationships, or our social structures. It is helpful to me to have this organic metaphor; to realize that growth means change and that for a new stage of growth to emerge something needs to die or to be released and left behind.


"Hope is not in the future but in the invisible". These words of Raimon Panikkar direct us toward Trust: Trust that we are guided by Powers beyond our comprehension and that we are entrusted with hearts to love us through, and guts to move us through, our darkest passage.

©Diane Pendola, Summer 2012. You are welcome to print or make a copy in electronic form for personal use or sharing with interested persons as long as the copyright notice is not removed or altered. Please do not print it in any other publication, or sell it, by itself or as part of another work, without express written permission of the author.

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