Monday, December 8, 2008


When I was a pre-teen and garden dreaming in the north, I would read seed catalogs by the fireplace. I imagined the green returning to the earth and could hardly wait until the weather changed. I suffered from the anticipation of spring. I remember my sisters and brother would all go spring-fever crazy when the weather changed. We were like a litter of puppies, jumping over each other, barking and biting until someone cried out, "Mom, he/she hit me!" I always had a garden project in mind and many times my efforts at the standard tried and true were successful. But once I tore up a plot of grass and planted various tulip bulbs and such, only they did not thrive. I was disappointed at the failure but I learned that you try and give what you can and the rest is nature's decision. I could say the soil was not prepared properly, or the bulbs were not planted the right side up, or it was too wet/dry that year but I won't because I think somewhere in the other-and-beyond that the bulbs did not want to grow-and I respect their decision. I continued to attempt the garden but I decided to encourage what responded, give it whatever it needed, appreciate the bounty of the ordinary marigold, eat hot tomatoes off of the vine, and cherish the silk tops of sweet corn. Meanwhile, I still read the "wish-books" (my father's name for catalogs) and now my dreams can be large scale: a Japanese garden with a bridge where I will contemplate the meaning of life; Monet's garden where I will paint water colors like Beatrix Potter or Tasha Tudor; and an English cottage garden where I will have tea and chat with dear friends such as you- and those readers who enjoy the memory/wish-garden almost as much as the real thing!

Note: The above garden photo was taken at Yogaville, VA where the Integral Yoga retreat is located.

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