Tropism, as Carol Klein was explaining, is the natural procedure of a plant without which it is not able to fulfil its created function. The BBC virtual Chelsea Show presentation had many other interesting tips from Monty and the rest of his team.
What struck a chord was the explanation of the power innate in a seed to germinate and grow, motivated by its need of light i.e. tropism.
The clinical psychologist and the theologian and a biologist were responding to a ‘ phone in’ as to the care of very tiny babies. To have a night light on for the comfort of the baby or not became a primary argument. ‘I always leave the hall light on’ one parent said to reassure the baby; and another left a low light on in the child’s room all night. The listener was not sure whose benefit the light was for: the sleeping baby or the concerned parent.
Germination of a living embryonic seed is dependent on many things, temperature, type of growing medium, nourishment, watering, but also the seed must have darkness for it to be stimulated into growth. During this secure, dark time roots are developed, a stable platform is being allowed to build and the future is being well prepared for.
The biologist gave her opinion.
The psychiatrist spoke very wisely of the experiences of growing through anxious times, and how in his observations people grew stronger and resilient the more things in their lives they had to deal with and overcome. The reverse is only partly true, he said, as no matter how uncomplicated others’ lives seem to us no one is exempt from moments of ‘darkness’.
The person of faith spoke of the task all parents share, of nurturing in every way the baby life. The potential within each precious child is cherished, and the unique identity realised and given wings by allowing the baby to experience dark and light as the natural rhythms of life.
The life of the Our Lord gave witness to the growing through and overcoming of Darkness and earthly dying. Being allowed to seemingly fail in human eyes, and through that ostensible failure to flourish, brings a new nobility for me and you into this world. The story of the Ascension presents us with cause for resilience and an ascendancy of spirit. The phone-in concluded in unanimity of a common sense and common mind.
Carol Klein illustrated the Ascension picture very well; we are all best when responding beyond self and growing towards the light of new hope: Tropism.
Graham W Bettridge
Hon Chaplain Parcevall Hall