Tuesday, May 22, 2007

and even more on gardening

I'll have all of you know that my thumb is anything but green. I appreciate beautiful gardens and I long to have one myself but I don't know a thing about anything. I don't know about what plants go where or how deep or when to water, fertilize, etc. It's so overwhelming to me that I can look at my little plot of a yard (which is mostly concrete and pea gravel) and feel quite depressed that it's never going to have the glorious foliage adorning it that I'd like. Despite this, I'm determined to do SOMETHING. Last week my husband and I started ripping out some ugly plants and weeds out of our front yard and extended the border or the garden area but pulling up the grass. It felt so darn rewarding when we were finished to see the beautiful brown dirt in between nicely spaced plants (it really was quite overgrown and poorly designed to begin with). And then I picked up a neat little book I've been reading that makes me feel just a wee bit better about NOT being out there weeding and planting and doing what I want in my heart to do. I felt guilty because I feel like a garden is so much WORK. Of couse I want fresh tomatoes and basil and raspberries and lovely flowers bordering our walkway. Who doesn't?! But I get a sinking feeling whenever I think of how much work it involves to maintain a garden. This passage struck me:

A garden tends to get inside us. If we go there to accomplish something or get something, the garden soon becomes a burden. With expectations that it must look good or produce no matter what, we will soon grow tired. The garden is really a place in which we can give ourselves away. This is true of any serious contemplation too. We are transformed by it. We are reduced and revealed by it. In it we may experience a lived sense of our connection to the earth, to our inner freedom, and to the Sacred, the ground of our existence. For me, gardening is a process that invites me to be fully engaged. It is also a constant exercise in letting go since so much happens that is not in my control. Strangely this duality seems to cultivate a joy that embraces impermanence and finds refuge in the invisible... I want to trust that with reverence for place and awareness of my foibles, I can grow to be more present and a better steward of my small corner of the earth. (Gunilla Norris in "A Mystic Garden: Working with soil, Attending to soul")

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one of us :: 7:45 PM :: 2 Comments