Since the completion of my garden fence and arbor two years ago, I have been wanting to paint the phrase "God is a Garden" in gold paint on the arch over the entrance to my garden. I just haven't found the time to do it yet. But you may say that is kind of a weird thing to say about a garden. What does a garden have to do with God ? Everything, absolutely everything.
To be in the presence of the "ease of growth" is a very humbling, and eternally spiritual experience, for me anyway. It teaches patience when you get anxious for the fruits of your labor. You must "allow" the garden to do what it does naturally. It reminds you of how beautifully intertwined life is with the environment and how little control you actually have over the outcome.
Plants grow without struggle and just do what they are spiritually designed to do. You think that "you" are planting the garden and "growing" the plants, when in actuality, you are just "allowing" the process to happen in your semi-controlled environment. A definite model for how to live your life.
Everything about a garden reminds me of the spiritually in life. For example, this time of year is a particularly poignant time since the plants in the garden are beginning to wither and die. The plants have given up their fruits and vegetables and some have gone to seed. The dirt becomes quiet and rests. It is sad to see this happen when just a few weeks ago the plants were at their height of beauty, development and production. The greens of youth give way to the golden browns of maturity and then to the withering frosts of age. It reminds me of part of the Masonic lecture in the Entered Apprentice degree. "but earth, ever kind and indulgent, is subservient to his wishes. Though constantly taxed to furnish the luxuries and the necessaries of life, it never refuses its accustomed yield, but spreads his path with flowers and his table with plenty, and returns, with interest, every good committed to its care; and when man is called upon to pass through the 'valley of the shadow of death' , it once more receives him, and covers his remains within its bosom. This admonishes us that from earth we came, and to earth we must shortly return".
But aside from the obvious cycle of growth and death apparent in gardening, quite a bit more is displayed during the growing process if one takes the time to observe.
I am always amazed by the geometry and mathematics observed in plant growth. I can, by no means say that I was ever good at math or geometry. But one who has struggled with it can easily observe and appreciate the underlying geometry in plant growth. It is beautiful, educational and magnificent. Maybe if classes in geometry and mathematics featured plant growth and development as part of the examples, a few less "thick" students may appreciate and understand the reason for the study. I still don't understand it, but I enjoy seeing it in action. I could write a blog just on the observation of the golden ratio in plants alone, never mind in other things in nature. I love observing it. It is beautiful.
Needless to say, I think gardening is like a "little bit of heaven" for sure. When I go there, whether physically or in meditation, I feel the presence of the divine all around me. It engulfs me and surrounds me with it's pure holiness. God is a garden and so am I.
But I still hate weeding......