|saw tooth oak|
When I was a teenager I would often decide at this point to just act as though spring were here. I would go to school in shorts and a tee shirt. I got a lot of weird looks, but I do remember a dear art teacher commenting, "April, you are like a breath of fresh air". That made me smile. Maybe those early signs of spring from the garden are there for our spirits as much as anything else…little signs of hope from Mother Nature to say, "don't despair, spring is coming".
I'm grateful for them, all those little signs of hope, because not despairing gets more difficult every winter. In the summertime it is easy. The garden is full of life and activity. There is so much to do and marvel at that little attention is spared for the larger view. In the wintertime though, when we are closed up indoors in our quietude, my attention wanders to goings on beyond my little protected earthspace. What I see scares the crap out of me. Our rainforests and boreal forests being destroyed, our water polluted, oil spills weekly, the oceans in terrible states…How can we continue to do this to the earth?
Years ago, when I first began this garden on this little piece of land, it was with the belief that no matter where we found ourselves, we could start to make things better. By working in a respectful and loving way with Nature and Mama Earth, we could start the healing process, begin to mend the wounds of the land, begin to heal the rift between humans and Nature. Through gardening, and I'm not just talking about planting a vegetable patch, but tending a garden that becomes our home, one that cares for us because we care for it, a garden of co-creation and interdependence, though this practice we could begin to find our way back to the way of life we were meant to live on this planet.
Every year brought me more hope as I witnessed life returning to this small patch of earth. Barren pastureland became a butterfly meadow, full of wildflowers. Trees and shrubs invited more and more birds. Building the soil every year filled the earth with life and held the water. Just being in the garden, so full of life, filled the heart with joy. Making medicine and meals from our harvests satisfied more than our bellies. I wondered at the reason for folks actually preferring a lawn of mowed grass over this.
|asian pear buds|
|monarda flower head|