If we establish any sort of consistent relationship with the earth, we may find that we can begin having powerful, revealing conversations with special locations where we make that connection.
My work with our yard and gardens has become that kind of connection, that kind of place, and that has been true in every place that I have lived. Even in college, there were certain places on campus that were still undeveloped that become connecting places for me.
Recently, one of my gardens began to fuss at me. Just have a look. I knew that I had been neglecting things as the school year began. When I stood in front of it this last weekend, I not only saw what neglect had done to this “Buddha Garden” but what neglect to my own interior life can look like. Lot’s of good stuff in there–but gone wild. Who would know looking at this mess that it is actually roses, Purple Heart, Black-Eyed Susan and a Japanese Maple and that there is actually a statue of the Buddha there touching the Earth? Okay, and a few weeds.
The Garden also called to me: don’t just come and dive into this, but breathe as you work here. Take one thing at a time. Focus on each thing, each spot. You will begin to see, soon what is possible when you approach life this way. And, take a few pictures. You can breathe even more if you take time to take pictures. So, I did.
Despite intense heat and humidity, this work became a calming thing, a soothing thing, a healing thing. The Garden was speaking to me, showing me itself and myself and showing me what was underneath all the overgrowth. The Roses and the Black-Eyed Susans were done for the season, and so it became clear that it was time to prune them back. The Purple Heart, though, had been overgrowing to try and stay in touch with the sun light. Because it breaks easily, slow, careful work was required to save it and free it from the tangle. The pieces that were broken needed to go into water for rooting and replanting.
The Garden that embraces all gardens, showed me again, as I connected here with our Buddha Garden that it’s never too late to tend our relationships: with the Earth, with other Beings, of the Human and the Other than Human kind. She reminded me that she is always willing to speak when we are ready to connect.