Friday, August 28, 2009
Despite the 21 days of rain in July, August gifted the gardens with abundant sunshine and perfect balance was restored quite beautifully. It amazed me to witness how the equilibrium was reset naturally in the landscape while my container gardens all suffered root rot. Recently I tipped them over and salvaged what I could. And today, even a few of those wounded plants are growing something beautiful or edible with their roots tucked happily into the Earth.
This morning I found myself quite humbled by the entire process. Standing silently for a minute or two, I became aware of my fellow gardeners, the hummingbird, bee and butterfly. Grateful for the invaluable services they provide, I blessed their day’s work. I put my palms down on the soil and gave a shout-out to the earthworms, also doing their part on behalf of the harvest. I watched newly hatched goldfinches feasting on seed heads, and mama chipmunk filling her jowls with my morning offering of raisins. I felt such gratitude for being included that I was almost moved to tears by the simple pleasure of the moment. And then I knew.
I had been kissed by the Spirit of the garden.
It is this Spirit that restored the refugees from the container garden, and that held the seedlings and tender plants firmly through the torential rains and cold winds that drove me out of the garden for weeks at a time...
In June, I sprinkled a tiny bit of cornmeal in each of the four directions in my garden, thanking each direction for its teachings. I thanked the life force of the Great Mystery as it manifests in that little patch of Earth. I placed myself in service to that Mystery and to the garden, so that together we might grow fertile, beautiful food and flowers. And then it was cold, and the rain came, and would not stop, and I gave up for a while. But the Spirit of the garden did not.
In May, when I turned over the soil and planted small crystals in each corner of the garden, I pledged myself to anticipating the garden’s needs for water, food, and care.
"May all that grows here be of benefit. May I serve you with an open heart," I said and then I didn't. It was my responsibility to nurture the Spirit, to remember myself and my garden in a loving partnership. In the mud, the weeds, the dampness, I forgot my pledge. But the Spirit of the garden did not.
And so this morning, feeling undeserving, a bit negligent, certainly guilty and lazy – yet awestruck and amazed – I got down on my knees and thanked the Spirit of the garden. It was another simple ceremony, and I know it was more for me than the plants. Then, I re-staked what was tumbling, and weeded out that which had encroached beyond the perennial beds. The mint had to be tamed again, it's not that mint has bad manners, it just needs reminding. I tore out some tansy, and bundled up the daylillies. And then I filled a basket with beans, tomatoes and herbs.
I felt such connection, welcome, and forgiveness – a profound gift from the Spirit of the garden. And then the kiss!
It was a brief awareness, a sensation of pure love and oneness, and then my silly monkey mind filled again with the scheduling of the days appointments, the shipping tape I must purchase in order to send out the packages, remembering to leave a check for my son's oil change and tire rotation... I returned to the house and to the responsibilities I pledged to honor.
In that kiss, the Spirit restored me and my promise.
Like the mint, I just needed reminding.
That I might serve you with an open heart...
May you be blessed!