Caroline's Ode to Gardening
For those who love to garden, there are deep spiritual rewards that transcend the constraints of logic, economics and time.
It’s the wonderfully peaceful feeling that comes from leaning on a hoe handle and contemplating a row of just –hilled potatoes. The connectedness you feel to the land when you just know today’s the day to put in your cabbage transplants. The beauty you appreciate in a perfectly turned and tilled seedbed. These and more are the kinds of spiritual rewards we get from gardening.
We’re not talking about religious joys, though many gardeners are devout believers. We’re thinking of the deep and subtle sense of connectedness to the seasons… the miracle of a sprouting plant… the cycles of life, death, and rebirth every gardener experiences in his or her garden.
The peacefulness of gardening is what has attracted us, and made lifelong gardeners of so many.
We find simplicity in a difficult world, when we count on the seasons changing as they have for millennia. Bees will pollinate the flowers and porcupine will get in the raspberries no matter who is president, how gas prices have risen or what problems we’re having at work or home.
We find beauty in nature when we look over the plot we’ve planned, planted and nurtured.
We find creativity and self-expression when we design a garden.
We find the peace that comes from within when we slow our lives long enough to stop and smell the roses.
Now, many of these joys can be had from other pastimes. But the unique attraction to gardening seems to be that there are substantial rewards for the novice as well as for the expert; that it’s so multifaceted that the fascination never wears out; that it is practical and, at the same time, deeply enjoyable; that it is very personal, and also an art and skill that is wonderful to pass on to those you love.
For us, gardening is no less than an essential and deeply rewarding part of life.
Gardeners are special people because we take time in a busy world to actually do something productive. Many of us come from families that have always gardened… and by doing so ourselves, we help carry that tradition to future generations. We’ve found a way to express ourselves, to keep in touch with nature, to set a wholesome example by quietly cultivating the beauty around us.
Gardeners have a special reverence for the earth. In a world that’s threatened by pollution, global warming and landfill crises, we’ve found a way to take a personal stand. Perhaps we as individuals can have no effect on the state of the planet, but in our own little corners of the world we can be morally responsible. As a group, gardeners have always practiced recycling, land conservation, and a reverence for the planet that others are only now learning about.
What more could you ask than just a little land, the blessings of nature, good health and the willingness to enjoy the garden way of living.
February 18, 2006