There are many ways to garden. Here is a story about my own, in pictures, and stories from others.
Shepherd Ogden writes, “there are many good reasons to have a garden, but one of the most important is that it gives us a chance to both control and yet be part of nature. A garden is a place where even the most powerless person can play almighty – design a small, self contained natural world by whimsy…”
As I forked and weeded, Thick Nhat Hanh’s words came to mind: “We become aware that our mind is like a garden that contains all kinds of seeds: seeds of understanding, seeds of forgiveness, seeds of mindfulness, and also seeds of ignorance, fear, and hatred…
When the seeds of anger, violence, and fear are watered in us several times a day, they will grow stronger. Then we are unable to be happy, unable to accept ourselves; we suffer and we make those around us suffer. Yet when we know how to cultivate the seeds of love, compassion, and understanding in us every day, those seeds will become stronger, and the seeds of violence and hatred will become weaker and weaker.”
“Imagine that you are strolling through your garden. One one side, you may see an area where things are growing perfectly, just the way you want them to be. It’s obvious that you have been taking care of this part of the garden…It feels good to be here…Give yourself a few minutes to soak in whatever good feelings you have about this part of the garden…Further back, in a part of the garden that may be much less accessible, notice that there is an area that is overgrown with weeds. The ground may be parched…or flooded…How does it feel to think about digging in and clearing up what has been neglected for so long? What does it bring to mind to think of beginning to uncover what has been left outside your conscious awareness until now?” – Nancy J. Napier
The flowers above and below are from seeds that were given as part of a wedding favor at a friend’s wedding. Unfortunately, as they bloom, the marriage is no longer.
“When we look at garbage we also see the non-garbage elements: we see the flower there. Good organic gardeners see that even if they do not practice meditation… That is why they do not throw garbage away.They keep garbage in order to transform it back into cucumbers and lettuce…we preserve the garbage within ourselves. We do not want to throw it out because if we do, we have nothing left with which to make our flowers grow.” Thich Nhat Hanh