The stillness of a garden

Yesterday was spent on retreat in a beautiful garden.

I’ve always been drawn to the garden and I always manage to include something about gardens in my books.  It’s in those places of nature, among a plethora of green that I find an embracing and very deep comfort.  Even now, in our chilly Melbourne winter, the damp air is refreshing, the breeze invigorating and the occasional raindrop, a reminder that the season is in full swing.

Of course I love open beaches, rolling hills, wide plains and intense forests – so typical of the variety of our country.  Each space holds its charm and its value.  But most of all, for me anyway, there is security and peace in the garden.

When I had lots of spare time I loved the act of gardening!  I loved the physical creating, pruning, moving, planting, digging and raking – and then admiring the finished work.  With less spare time, it was still necessary this week (with red, yellow and gold leaves showering everything to the point of combustion), I found myself with a rake, broom and bin at hand and finally, the satisfaction of seeing clean space again.

But the garden I enjoyed yesterday was not my responsibility!  And there were scattered leaves and plants needed pruning and paths needed sweeping.  But how earthy and beautiful it was.  And how lovely it was to be in the quiet, to stand in the quiet, to catch the scent of mulch and moisture and to slowly walk in the quiet.  To be held in that quiet space; to sense stillness there; to admire without involvement, those flowers that have emerged despite the cold; and to feel safely present and contained – a different kind of meditation with a more spiritual theme.  Something for the soul to later ponder and to wonder about.

If you can be in a garden, go to it today!  Feel its calm embrace and let that be a reminder of the power of stillness.



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