Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Meditation on Gardening

Kneel between rows of newly sprouting carrots and beets and begin to work. Pull up weeds and watch what happens inside you. Thoughts seem to quiet down as your attention naturally focuses on the task at hand. Digging in the dirt, planting a seed, adding compost to a flower bed, pruning a shrub — all of these activities seem to absorb you so fully that any other problem or concern is temporarily suspended. Any gardener can tell you that this happens, but it is difficult to say why.

Perhaps engaging with the earth in this intimate way reconnects us with the source of our life and therefore genuinely calms us. It may be that in the garden the elements of earth, air, water, and fire (in the form of light) come into natural balance. The garden is also where growth, the exuberance of life, and the natural process of decay so vividly take place. We are reminded that everything is connected as we haul barrowfuls of plant stems, trimmed leaves, and uprooted stalks to the compost pile and later dig in the newly made soil containing last season's withered plants. In the garden we can be rooted where we are: in the sunshine, in the soil, in the present moment.

— from Mindful Moments for Stressful Days, by Tzivia Gover
Photo by Melanie Jolicoeur

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