My Garden is a Gift
Barbara O’Brien describes her garden.My garden is located on a second-floor balcony. The location and orientation to the sun requires that everything in the garden be planted in containers. This fall, the containers were filled with pansies and lavender while geraniums and petunia make up the summer look. Hummingbirds and a little garden lizard keep me company when I spend part of my day working in or just enjoying time in the garden. This garden is a gift of discoveries for me. One of the gifts is the way that being in the garden sooths my soul. During these times of isolation due to the coronavirus, I can sit in safety amidst vibrant flowers, herbs and ferns. My breathing gets deeper and slower in this space. My senses of sight, sound and smell transport me into the grace of this small corner of God’s creation. As one who favors headspace and abstract ideas, the garden provides another gift; that of physical activity that helps me to live in the moment. To create my garden, my feet need to be firmly placed on a solid surface; muscles have to stoop and stretch. Best of all, my mind slows down, and I can just be present in this place of light and color. Creativity is the most rewarding of all the gifts the garden offers me. Within its boundaries, I can claim my role as a co-creator who works with the rhythm and natural forces of God’s world as my tools. Every growing season, I get to create what goes into each container. I can play with color, shape, and the combinations of plants. Free to experiment without recriminations, I discover that success brings surprises and failure is a chance to try something different. I do my best to nurture the new growth, but I am prepared to acknowledge that there are so many factors that are beyond me to control. It is exciting when there is some new “aha” that I can incorporate into my plans for next season. I am grateful for the gifts from my garden: a soothed soul, a sense of being physically present, and the rewards of creativity.
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