Select Page
I am remembering a conversation I had with one of my grammar teachers a month or so back, about her experience of the Garden as a child. Her father is a gardener, yet for him it is not simply a job, it is an experience of Life. An experience of Life, yes in that he is working at giving life to and maintaining the lives of plants, but an experience more profound that is now a part of my teacher’s awareness – that we are in living relationship with all Life. As a child, my teacher was encouraged by her father to speak with the plants, and how she admired the closeness of heart he had with his green and patient friends.At the university I attended there was a section of untouched land know as “the back 40”. I remember walking in the day through its only trail, or walking in the night around the large pond in front of the university, hearing the sounds and inhaling the freshness of the wet earth. These were moments of a different type of prayer, prayer that could last for hours without any uttered words, and yet prayer the rejuvenated the spirit while giving peace to the mind.

Living in a house that is completely surrounded by walls causes at times the feeling of being in a prison. I suppose in many aspects we are, not uniquely, but as a part of a world whose societies in the majority are built more with bricks than Love. In such a situation, we are trying to bring in green, bring in flowers and smells and all the wonderful insects and birds that come with them. It is artificial really, purchasing a plant and then deciding where it would look best, but that said the process thus far has been a beautiful experience of closeness with the soil, learning about the various needs of differing plants, of those that are delicate and those that are hearty, and learning how they are so much more than decorations, but companions that will be there as you grow, and whom you will have the joy of watching grow, and the sorrow of watching suffer.

Having had a little community garden in Waterloo, and now being able to finally grow and love our own herbs and flowers in our very own yard (a thought we never really imagined would happen so quickly), I am realizing the greatness of gardening. Everyone that can really should get there hands dirty. I remember how at the community garden the majority of the plots were cared for by the elderly. The elderly are the wisest and most patient of our societies, and we really should take their advice, not just in what they say, but in what they do. Perhaps it is a natural thing, that after a life of business, or work and family, when alas there is “time”, we return to the wonderful task of Adam. I just don’t know why we choose so often to wait so long.