Spring finally has a firm hold on our mountain valley…. the last of the snow storms has passed (cross your fingers) and morning sunlight and afternoon showers are coaxing the early growers – peas, rhubarb, beets, and greens – out of hiding. There is something so hopeful about a spring garden – the fresh smells, the potential of your shoebox of saved seeds, or the excitement of experimenting with new varieties of heirlooms. That first time you dig your fingertips into soft spring soil is like riding your bike again after a long hiatus. ‘Oh yeah…I remember this… this feels really good.’
I recently came across this wonderful book by Zachiah Murray called Mindfulness in the Garden: Zen Tools for Digging in the Dirt (Parallax Press 2012). Her book takes gardening to a new level for me – one of spiritual practice and fulfillment. She skillfully expresses what I think many of us experience already (though perhaps unconsciously) : a grounding of our thoughts and energy – not unlike the mental clarity that comes from running or other forms of repetitive motion. “Often our spaces are a reflection of what’s happening within us. So when we weed, it gets a lot more simple, and we get a lot calmer and quieter,” says Murray.
Zachiah Murray is a registered Landscape Architect and a Masters of Divinity candidate in Meru Seminary, at The Center for Spiritual Enlightenment
For less than a cup of coffee, you can hear a great interview with her here via New Dimensions.