Rooting Out

For several summers in Wales I observed countless small tendrils all over the lawn, which, however often they were mown, appeared to grow stronger. Finally I dug down and discovered that all across the garden, like varicose veins, there extended a network of tough, woody shoots. They all had to be ripped out if the lawn was to thrive.

Change is an uncomfortable business: it means letting go of our psychological and emotional possessions. Often we prefer to cling to our neuroses, our prejudices, our illnesses, our established patterns of behaviour and familiar social and domestic routines. It takes time, effort and sometimes courage to carry out such work and root out the problem.

To be open to change is to be willing to go on a journey of the spirit. There can be no standing still. In his novel To Be A Pilgrim, Joyce Carey wrote:

We must renew ourselves or die. We must make new worlds about us for the old does not last. Those who cling to this world must be dragged backwards into the womb which is also the grave. We are the pilgrims who must sleep every night under a new sky, for either we go forward to the new camp or the whirling earth carries us to the one behind. There is no choice but to move, forwards or backwards.

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