Ask any gardener how much effort they have to put into their beloved plot, and I bet they will tell you that there was more that they could have done. When it comes to our gardening chores, it seems there are always an endless number of tasks to complete. Most of us find it difficult to stop working even when exhaustion has set in. When you do what you love, the work is not hard. In fact, it feels as if you are hardly working.
On weekend mornings, I will often rise early to avoid the intense heat and spend hours “puttering around” outside before I come in to give my children breakfast. To be honest, they both learned at a very young age how to make their own breakfast. They got too hungry and tired of hearing me say, “Just five more minutes.” Sometimes my sweet daughter would wash an apple and bring it out to me because she knew I could keep going until noon with nothing but a few drinks out of the garden hose.
Being a successful gardener requires focused attention. Once you settle in on the tasks of the garden, the endless stream of thoughts in your mind will quiet down. This is one of the secret pleasures that can be derived from spending hours caring for tender charges. With a quiet mind, it can become your spiritual practice.
Many teachers recommend meditation as a way to calm the mind and allow more peace to find its way into our life. Meditation does not have to be a strict practice that necessitates sitting in a yoga pose with hands in a particular position, eyes shut, and a mystical mantra being chanted. Meditation can happen at any time when we drop completely into the present moment. This may be one of the reasons why gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. The spiritual peace we are seeking can often be found out in our own backyard.
from my new book, The Seventh Season: Wisdom from the Garden of Life
remember, goodness grows,