“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Gardens invite me to think, process, heal, and discover.
Even before the ground has ever been turned and tended, the open untamed spaces tell me things about myself and what I believe. I remember pulling up to our land in Wisconsin shortly after signing the papers to call her our new home and experiencing a feeling I can only describe as awe. When we stepped out of the car, looked around and took that deep breath, I now know I experienced my first garden. A garden full of trees, squirrels, flowers, sunshine, hooting owls, darkness and undeniably powerful possibilities. This was a place to weed through life’s questions, remember what really is, and ponder my place in the world.
Planning a garden also sends me the great invitation to higher thought. The garden is in my mind, as I weave my way through onions and potatoes, into my heart and happiness, pain and suffering, past the scratching chickens and under the trellis of blooming Morning Glories. A chronic illness last summer left me feeling like the tiny seeds in the dark of the soil, madly trying to find their way to the sun or the spindly little cherry tomato plant that we were ready to put out of its misery, barely able to hold itself up. But again, the garden teaches me. Those tiny seeds hold within them a brilliance that should make us weep, and the spindly tomato plant just needed time, love and a little support to find it’s abundance.
Each of the five gardens we have planted have painted a picture of that present moment. There is the one of me squatting down, breaking off my first purple bean or me triumphantly pulling a giant Canadian Thistle or me sitting at the entrance of the abundant garden sipping tea with my husband or the one where I am gone and the garden is left alone. They all have a single word written below them that describes the main lesson of that year. My first year was courage. The second was persistence. The third was grief. The fourth was weary. The fifth was anxious. If I could predict the sixth, I think I would choose the word restored.
Thoughts of this year’s garden inspire me to honor the greatness within all of us. To transcend the trappings of culture, think boldly, live mindfully, love fully and connect with Universe. We are all like the tiny seeds and the once spindly tomato plant, full of brilliance and our own unique greatness.