A garden–whether it be a quarter acre plot or a small flowerbox– evokes many emotions in those who tend it. Obviously, a garden gives joy and happiness, not only to its nurturer, but to any who may pass by and sigh at the beauty and perfume of a newly opened bloom.
Sometimes, there is frustration and disappointment when a plant simply refuses to flourish where you’ve planted it. Occasionally, there’s even a bit of hostility (just ask Jodi at BloomingWriter how she feels about goutweed) toward some parts of our gardens. But overall, most who garden would say that it is the satisfaction, the sense of accomplishment, the miracle of growth, that keeps their hands in the soil.
“Connection with gardens, even small ones, even potted plants, can become windows to the inner life. The simple act of stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer.” – Patricia R. Barrett, The Sacred Garden
A garden’s value is not only in what it produces. A garden teaches many things. It gifts us with an inner peace and solitude as we work, and forces us to pause. It teaches diligence, determination, patience and gratitude. It even teaches faith. Yes, faith. Imagine the anxiety of a farmer, planting acres of crop, without faith that his investment will bear fruit. Or how stressful the purchase of that four-foot Blue Spruce you’ve longed for, without faith that it will set out roots and thrive.
A garden can recharge our senses with its riot of color and shape…with the twitter of birds and buzz of bees…with the fragrance of blooms and rain-washed foliage…with the warm earth that sifts through your fingers and with the cool shade of a tree…with the crunch of a new carrot or the fuzzy sweetness of the first peach. Gardening has been a joy for me over the years, and has often been an almost spirtual experience.
We all have our own definition of “God”. But whatever that may be, I find this quote to be wholly appropriate:
“I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day.” – F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace