posted by: Susan Magill, Colorado Master Gardener, Douglas County
I see my garden as a metaphor for the essential lessons in learning to lead a full and authentic life. My garden is a place where I encounter the creative energies and rhythms of the eternal life force that both bonds me to everything in nature and animates my spirit.
I accept the basic dynamics of the garden. Plants die on me, and they thrive on me. Plants may never talk back, but they inevitably let me know how they feel. There are no politics in a garden, no controversy. My interaction with a plant is a very singular relationship of my own making. In the garden, I explore myself and my creativity, tolerance, madness, obsessions, level of concentration, and my level of caring. There is no competition in my garden, except with myself.
For the most part, gardening is about solitude. Gardening can make solitude feel like solace instead of the prison it might unfortunately be for some. I relish in the constant process of renewal that is always visible among my plants; there is always hope! A magnificent thing about my garden is that it is never, ever the same from one hour to the next. The light, the wind, the angle of the plants' leaves, the energy levels, they're always changing.
As a gardener I give up my preoccupations and focus solely on my labor. It's freeing in that respect because I’m concentrating on entirely on tending nurturing and caring for my plants. My head empties out when I garden, and I become nothing but a force of nature. Gardening eliminates a great deal of the turmoil in my mind because it focuses my energy on doing one simple activity
Any bit of insight I find or connection I make to nature's cycles helps me better understand the essential elements of our humanity and my place in the intricate web of life. In the Garden, I meet nature face-to-face with all my senses, all my physical and spiritual muscles. I am open to the unpredictable, available to life, and ready to learn a lesson or two.