Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Spirituality of Gardening

Good morning,

It turns out that writing a blog was in my mind for quite a while before I actually got started! An e-mail I sent to some friends in July 2007 records that "I'm thinking of writing a blog ... a diary that goes places". It goes on to mention a book I'd just acquired, The Spirituality of Gardening, by Canadian journalist and garden lover Donna Sinclair. What I said in that note is still true, going back to the book this morning.

The photos are wonderful, and I love the ideas the author has and the many stories and quotations she uses. Her last chapter is titled Gardening as Resistance. 'Resisting what?' you may ask. Resisting the current culture of not caring about or for things, resisting the growing of food by pouring on artificial fertilizers and pesticides, resisting tendencies to disconnect from nature.

Sinclair writes: "The thing is, gardeners are in love with a beauty inherent in the earth. We just try to help people see it. The whole earth is a garden that we have been given by our Creator. Our own vegetable patches and perennial borders, boxes of plants that grace apartment balconies, vivid borders installed by civic-minded mall owners, old downtowns exploding with tough petunias in huge baskets from every lamppost - all these teach us that life is not solely about achievement. It is about beauty for its own profitless, extravagant sake. It is about stubborn resistance to all who would harm the earth. It is about living in obedience to sun and rain and living in gratitude for this lovely, sacred vital planet.'

As you see above, the photos selected for the book are wonderful. Not just pretty flowers or gardens but shapes, textures, colours and ideas that enhance Sinclair's ideas about gardens as connection, balance, memory, healing, hope, spiritual practice and resistance. One doesn't have to follow any particular faith to appreciate the images, ideas, and philosophy Sinclair presents.

Best regards to all,

Why's Woman

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