the basil plant asks me a question

Can we go back to the days when we were innocent? When we didn’t know things that would hurt us? When we didn’t do things that would hurt us? Can we be innocent again, like babies that only know the first senses and cry only of instinctive needs? Can we turn back time, from when we came out from our mother’s womb as babies that are unashamed to cry, that express pain in its rawness, and have nothing to hide? Can we be innocent again, pure, undefiled, unblemished, unspoiled? Like seeds in a pot that have yet to be watered and have yet to grow into what they are supposed to be: good plant rooted in good soil?

The basil plants I have been taking care of these past few months have become almost stagnant in their growth. No matter how much I water them and give them the sunlight they need, the leaves dry out and they are not as green as they are supposed to be. It took me a while to finally notice that perhaps it is not the water nor the sunlight that is the problem. It could be the lack of nourishment they are getting from the soil. It could be because the soil has become bad, stale or lacking. Yes, it could be that.

How do you cure it? You uproot the plant. You transplant it into new soil. You move it out of its current state. You address whatever is making it dry, stagnant, even dead. Because it simply cannot survive in a stale seed bed. Perhaps that would make the plant thrive again, feel and become new.

I wish the same could be said of us humans. That we can simply just uproot ourselves from whatever is making us dry, contaminated, spoiled. I wish it were as easy as that. And we would be back to those days when we were clean and thriving and alive. When we were good. When we were unexposed to many things, many experiences. When we had greater capacity to say no, to flee temptation, to shun evil. But I know that the moment we were conceived, we already were naturally inclined to go the other way. Because even babies are selfish without them meaning to be selfish. They just are naturally inclined to be selfish, to demand, to ask for what they want. Could that also be innocence? That they are unaware of their selfishness? Could we also then claim that as our defense? That we can’t help becoming contaminated or dirty or spoiled, that we can’t help ourselves from sinning because we are naturally inclined to sin?

2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”


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