We are living in strange times at the moment and many people have found that with the extra time on their hands they have been able to reflect on their lives. Some have taken up yoga and meditation or are watching movies and soaps. Me? I have never been busier! This lock-down has compelled me to spend more time outside in the garden. I have built more vegetable beds; I have sown more seeds; I have planted more trees, (www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBIE86dVq5A) and I have had my head down working. I have been very busy doing things. It has almost been as if, because the world is in lock-down, on a go-slow, I have had the opportunity to catch up. But catch up with what?
When I was living in England, before I came home to Ireland, I lived in a house like this,
and I only had a tiny back-yard garden.
Here in the west of Ireland, the fields are small and are called gardens. When a person here is talking about a garden they mean a field, not a lawn with some flower beds. My garden here originally looked a bit like this, (though not as bad I am glad to say)
as this poor garden is just neglected.
For the past eleven years, give or take a year, I have been working with my garden, trying to co-create a place of peace and beauty. I have hungered so long for such a place, a place where I could grow my own food, connect with Nature and encourage bio-diversity. As I work, I speak to the plant spirits asking them to grow well and to thrive. I sense, out of the corner of my eye, that spirits of the land are looking on. I focus my intention on what I am doing and on the plants.
Just before lock-down, we went to visit a very dear friend who has an outstandingly magical garden. We always come away full of hope and inspiration and lots of great ideas and encouragement. Her garden is a true labour of love and it shows. You can see what I mean here – bealtainecottage.com/about/. Another friend of ours inherited a well established, mature garden with a beautiful ancient woodland at its edges, a real olde worlde garden, anglersreturn.com/home-amenities.php. These gardens have inspired me so much, to the point where I work, work, work to “catch up” and I have only just realised that I am so busy doing the gardening that I am not just being with the garden. I am focusing my intention on the garden, on the outcome of my work; but I was not focusing my attention which is quite different.
My intention is to create the beautiful garden of peace that I mentioned. Focusing my intention seems to be working. I took a break the other day, a lovely warm day of sunshine and blue skies. Sitting down and glancing around I really looked at my garden, really saw it.. I was quite surprised to see how lush and beautiful it is.
It dawned on me then, (and I feel so stupid about this), that intention is brilliant when it is focused and it achieves a lot. My intention has created a lovely, wild garden with trees, shrubs, herbs, vegetables and fruit. However, my garden needs my attention as well. If I really want to co-create with the spirits of the garden and with Mother Nature, I must be attentive to them. Just as a child needs attention to help it develop confidence and grow, my garden needs my full attention to enable it to feel really loved and really appreciated.
Professor Emoto showed in his experiments with water crystals that if something is ignored it pines away from neglect. If something is shouted at and cursed it will just survive. Best of all is that which receives loving attention. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehlw-9PJkIE) I believe that showing my garden loving attention will result in a much deeper, more sacred relationship with the land for me; and that will lead to us, my garden and I, enjoying a wonderful life of co-creativity together.