It's been a while. Between spurts of outlining and drafting my next book, I've been spending so much of my free time in the garden, lately. In the pics (clockwise): a new pink Hydrangea to compliment the blues. And I've already forgotten the name of the top right... gladiola? Then, a young Japanese Maple. And an old remnant of fallen wood from many years ago. I used to sit on this warped log as a young girl and set out piles of flowers and treats for the fairies. Yes...it started young. So, I'm just delighted to have freed it again. Perhaps, my son will enjoy sitting on it now, dreaming his own dreams. You know, I often get funny looks when I blither on about the garden... (is there NOTHING you'd rather be doing?) Well, there are actually oodles of folks who love gardening, for different reasons, but I'll tell you why it's so good for me, because I like to share.
Here's what I know: I am someone who loves beauty. That's what it is; when we boil it down. As much as I can feel into the world and the trauma and pain that exists, I also see and experience beauty in the world, and now I am enhancing that. I am creating a beautiful life. I like beautiful food. Beautiful music. Beautiful scents. Beautiful souls. Beautiful eyes. Beautiful smiles. Beautiful landscapes. Beautiful moments. Beautiful joy and passion for life.
"Planting a garden is to believe in tomorrow..." - Audrey Hepburn
And I suppose, much like writing, or any art...I'd like to harness the beautiful ideas from my head, my dreams, my heart...and create them, physically. It's simple. And it brings me peace. Sanctuary. When we are spiritual seekers, dreamers, believers, doers, creators...we can often get lost in the ether. In the awe and magnificence of things. The magic and wonder. The connection. Or, it can be the reverse. We can get lost in the dark, as well, and in the momentum, the wants, the greed, the desires. Getting grounded is vital. Working with the earth, respecting each creature that comes to visit...the birds, the insects, a rabbit here and there...it connects me to my soul, to everything, in a way that I can't describe. It brings me home. It quiets my mind. It's...healing, for me. Getting dirty up to my knuckles, feeling worms wriggle between my fingers, witnessing the color and beauty of each new flower, shrub, stone...it reminds me of who I am and where I came from. It fills me with gratitude. The cool earth balances me, much like the water does. Also, I've always been a self-proclaimed "black thumb." But, I've been rediscovering myself lately.
I thought I hated seafood. For my entire life. And now, oysters are one of my favorite things to eat. Who woulda thunk it? So, I figured...let me try the gardening thing. And guess what...I love that, too.
In my reading about different cultures, religions, traditions; I came across shadow energy. What this means is... there may be things that we fear or have a strong dislike for. So we avoid them and dismiss them entirely, without understanding them. Extrapolate that...to anything. Experiences, situations, people, animals, insects, anything that we see as a dislike or aversion. This is the shadow energy, and it presents us with great opportunities...it challenges us, confronts us, repels us or ignites us in some mysterious way. So, I've found that if I have a predisposition toward something, instead of a natural curiosity, as it should be, it becomes a challenge to investigate whether I really feel that way...or whether it was something that I made up about myself, or about the situation...who knows when, based on who knows what? And so it was, with seafood and gardens, among other things.
"No man ever steps in the same river twice; for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." - Heraclitus (or woman...just saying.)
Seafood...was a fear of the unknown, mostly, but also it was a texture issue that I had as a child. I've grown past that, and realized...it doesn't all taste the same. Some I still don't like. Some I really do like. Gardening... was a patience thing. When I was younger, it seemed like a waste of time to spend hours moving dirt around, or I'd forget to water the plants, and so on. Now, I find indescribable peace in it. So, I would recommend to anyone to try things again, if you can't explain your dislike. Our tastes can change, or we could just be full of it, stuck in a story.
The other great thing about my new love for the garden and putting my hands into the earth...is the reminder, that she is our Mother. And working with her, knowing her rhythm, her responses, her preferences...is life-changing. How? Well, in honoring and showing reverence for Mother Earth, we are reminded about the feminine side of divine energy. And what came to me...out there in the soil...is how important that is. A mother nurtures, provides, loves, sustains, teaches, and heals us. And in return, she should be respected, cared for, tended to, valued, and appreciated. Do you see where I'm going with this? What does that say for how we treat our planet? Are we respecting our Mother, who has always sustained, fed, and nurtured us? And in the microcosm, are we respecting our women? Are we valuing, protecting, and caring for our women? And women...are we valuing and loving ourselves, setting healthy standards, are we celebrating our gifts, or hiding them? Are we respecting the feminine energy within all of us -- to nourish, nurture, emote, lift up, heal, inspire, and love each other?
"Let us dedicate this new era to mothers around the world, and also to the mother of all mothers -- Mother Earth. It is up to us to keep building bridges to bring the world closer together, and not destroy them to divide us further apart." - Suzy Kassem
This is why it always starts within. If we know who we are and value and cherish ourselves, as we are, and we are open, caring, generous, and nurturing with ourselves; we can then send that love out. To heal. Heal each other, lift each other up, empower each other, walk with each other...and maybe our dear old Mother Earth will get a spa day and some needed love.
The hard truth is...she will be fine. Our planet will do what it needs to do to heal, with or without us. But we need her: We must bring back the balance. Let's create a beautiful, nourished Earth. Where food is grown -- naturally, beautifully. Where each species, including humans, can co-exist in harmony. Where the power of God and Love is revered and honored, but religion doesn't divide and destroy us. Where the circle of life, the balance of all things, is respected, honored, and practiced. Not perfection, not utopia...but a healthy, sustainable balance. That's the best that any of us can ask for, and work toward. For ourselves, for our home. For tomorrow.