We probably ought to talk about The Garden and the garden. Most of us, when hearing those words, likely think of the garden. This “garden” is the one where I set out space, dig up soil, amend soil, plow rows, plant seeds, seedlings. It’s where I hoe, water, stake, prune, pick, mulch. This is the fully domesticated garden, and without exception, the garden of this sort is carved out of The Garden. For that matter, our homes, whether houses or apartments or retirement communities, are sitting in the garden carved out of The Garden. Every single accomplishment, development and creation of the human being is something that we have carved out of The Garden. Our disasters and destruction, too.
The Garden is the Wild Earth. The Wild Earth tends Herself. The animals and insects that live in The Wild Earth find a balance through availability of food (which for animals often includes prey of another animal kind), light, space, water. The Wild Earth includes naturally started fires, storms, tornadoes and hurricanes which level spots in The Wild Earth and create new conditions for Her to grow into new abundance. Sometimes, humans venture into The Wild Earth and enjoy some of the wild abundance there. I have mild experiences of my own like this: blackberries and muscadines. Those berries were delicious, but each time we ventured into The Garden to pick them, we bore the marks of the Wild on our bodies for days afterward.
We do not ever enjoy the gardens that we create without The Garden. We always carve the garden of our domesticated lives out of The Garden. If the day comes (and I wonder if we are not close) that we no longer recognize The Garden, then the end of our little gardens and domesticated lives will follow soon after.
It was once human practice to create a sacred place somewhere on the edge of The Wild Earth that also touched the domesticated spaces. People visited there seasonally with gifts produced in the domesticated places of their lives and offer them as gratitude to The Wild Divine. In this way, they did not forget the Source of their cities, towns, homes, farms, gardens and livelihoods.
In the coming days, is there a place near the edge of the woods that you can go with an offering of gratitude–and reacquaint yourself with The Garden?