We had to talk about gardens and gardening at some point, right?! This is, after all, The Secret Garden.
Where to even start with gardens? I am smitten with The Garden of Eden and the language of Eden. I even blogged 31 Reminders from Eden. I wasn’t very interested in or taken with gardens until I moved to China.
And was removed for from most of nature.
I recall realizing I hadn’t heard a bird in months. MONTHS. There were no birds (though plenty of mice and rats) and at that time, most of the flowers came out around holiday times in flower pots around campus. There were two main parks in the city I lived in. One had lots of bamboo and concrete stools with no back support and the other park had lots of people (it was, not surprising, People’s Park) and once a year hosted the most amazing Mum Festival. Who knew mums could be so large and artsy?!
Oh there were trees around too. Funny how I forgot them. But really, I was in a large developing city that hadn’t yet had the breathing space in her development to create, well, breathing space.
For the first time in my life I began to crave nature. Blue skies, flowers, trees, birds, gardens, hiking like I was used to in the U.S. (not 5,000 stairs cut into a mountain complete with the opportunity to have my picture taken with a rabid monkey).
It all began in a garden. Isn’t that good news for our souls? And Revelation lets us know there will be gardens in heaven. That’s lesson number one: Gardens are good for the soul.
The Secret Garden taught me to notice. I remember going outside and looking at the earth, like Mary, to see if I too, could see things coming up or buds forming. Gardening encouraged me to notice, to remember people and places change and to look for change. That’s lesson number two.
The third lesson came as an adult when I would work in my parents garden in the summer. This lesson’s unofficial name is “the lesson of the mint.” This is the beautiful aspen box in their back yard.
When I was a child, Mom planted wonderful smelling mint in the far corner. Fast forward a couple of decades and me “taming the beast of the aspen box” (aka, weeding). That mint had worked its way all over the box! I don’t know the technical term, but they have the kind of roots that are connected, and if they are not stopped will just keep going. I’d be pulling up one mint plant and find myself chasing down the roots in this direction and that.
The lesson of the mint is several fold. It starts with the reminder there is much more going on under the surface! But it also reminded me supposedly unrelated things may be more connected than I realize. Look for connections. Finally, that seemed harmless when it was small, may grow and take over. Ignoring it and hoping it will go away, is a fool’s game. Deal with things while they are small. Easier than dealing with them later when you have to disrupt much of the “garden of life.”
I’d love to see picture of nature from your neck of the woods. Do you like gardens or gardening? Anybody else hate weeding as a kid? What other lessons has gardening taught you?
I took this picture over the wall of a garden because it made me think of The Secret Garden.
I wish my hand looked more like a model’s and less like a Gollum puppet clutching the wall, but alas. Shame storm be gone! Funny story, a lady walked up behind me and told me I could go in the door to the right =). She thought I was a bit nuts taking a photo for a book club. Oh well, we’re all a bit nuts!
Upload a photo of plants, flowers, or gardens in your neck of the woods!
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