Photo by Pearl Beerhorst
I spent some time working in the garden yesterday. My attention there was long overdue. I cut down several towering sunflowers still putting out some blossoms but long past their prime. I left some standing for the gold finches that have been pecking out their seeds over the past month. When I spend time with the plants and soil of our garden I can feel some of the frayed edges inside me getting stitched back together. I knelt on the ground to spread straw mulch around the new sugar peas. They are beginning to make their way up the chicken wire trellis I built back in July. I began to notice the bees that were busy with the last shot of nectar collecting for the season. These bees had plenty of company with countless other insects going about their mysterious flight paths.
The ancient mythology tells us our first parent Adam was made out of soil and then his gal was made out of him so it stands to reason that spending time with the plants that are all rooted in the soil would be a life giving activity. It is after all, at least on a mythic level (and arguably the most important level we can consider) a returning to our origins. It doesn't take a Wendell Berry book to figure out that spending time in the garden may just be the most effective way we can put down the roots of our soul in something at last that can actually sustain us.