It’s time to get out into the garden in Illinois. We tilled our 30′x60′ plot in the community garden last week. There are seven friends with adjoining plots (there are almost 200 plots on what used to be farmland) and we enjoy meeting at “the farm.” Michele arrived today bearing a pink flamingo which she “planted” in the center of her bare ground to provide some color until her flowers do. Sue and Gary always put bluebird boxes up in their garden and the word somehow spreads almost immediately as within a day, the birds have arrived to set up housekeeping. We enjoy their presence.
A community garden provides a terrific opportunity to make new friends. I met a very nice family yesterday who stopped by while I was working to ask about mulch. Gardeners tend naturally to share: expertise, tools and produce. A garden, even a small one, generally produces more than the gardener can use and prompts generosity to friend and stranger alike.
As I go through the rituals of raking, marking rows, planting and watering, I am close to the earth and feel deeply connected with its sustaining energy. The labor feels good in the doing. There is intense involvement in tending to what needs doing today.
We sow seeds–and intentions–in the garden of our mind. We must be careful gardeners, mindful of what seeds we plant and nurture there. For more about the connection between gardening and dhamma:
Cheryl Wilfong, master gardener and meditator, has written a wonderful dhamma book that happens to be about gardening titled The Meditative Gardener. She teaches insight meditation at the Vermont Insight Meditation Center.