Taking Refuge in our Gardens

Taking Refuge in our Gardens
"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul."Alfred Austin

What is your garden to you?
A place to produce food? A place to rest? A place for inspiration? ...

When we go to the garden, we're not always fully present with why we're there. This month, I invite you to take some time to wander, and wonder. Put your trowel down, and commit yourself to something new for us active people: doing nothing.

Just like in our daily lives, it's all too easy to allow our devotion to accomplishment eclipse the intimacy with the moment. Sure, there will always be projects to do. It could always be more this way or that way. But when we allow ourselves a moment, and a breath, we realize that, in truth, a garden (like a life) is not something you can accomplish. Crossing off a task is not an end, but only the beginning of the next. A garden is, in fact, by its very nature, endless.

It will never fully conform to our desires, and this is exactly what makes it so compelling and beautiful. Like all of nature, it will just be the way it is, shining in its perpetual unfinished state.

Whether we know it or not, when we enter our gardens, a part of us naturally returns home. Just by being in the presence of the elements and living beings, we return to connection with an ancient friend - Nature. And in that sense, gardening is more about being than it is about doing, more about connection than production.

Seeing this, we slow down to see what always and already here. The soil against our skin, the worm hole and seed sprouts, the sun and the wind and rain showering down. And in moments, we finally allow our garden...to garden us.

If we're calm and mindful in the process, a synergy of healing, inspiration, beauty can emerge. It's this synergy that is at the heart of the native garden.

Or at least, that's true for me. What is your garden to you this year? ...