HOW GARDENING ENRICHES YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE
“Gardening is an active participation in the deepest mysteries of the universe.” Thomas Berry
“The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there. ~George Bernard Shaw”, The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, 1932
“In a disenchanted world, it's important to get somewhere and accomplish something, but the time spent in a garden gets us nowhere. A garden entices us to slow down and stop, an important dynamic in the soul, and even as we work laboriously in our gardens, for many of us the seasons change, frost arrives, and our work goes into hiding. One of the primary benefits of a garden is to relieve us of ambition, or at least transform our ambitions into the natural rhythms and cycles of the garden. Our philosophies of personal growth can be sublimated in the garden into the work of helping flowers grow.”
— Thomas Moore in The Re-enchantment of Everyday Life
The gardening process is a metaphor for Spirituality. When we garden, it teaches us humility and patience, and allows time for reflection and a chance to commune and understand the processes of nature. Gardening connects us with something greater than ourselves. We have to release the desire to control many aspects of our garden. We cannot speed up the germination or the growth of the plant. It will do it in its own time depending on the soil, warmth, the right amount of water and sunlight. We can nurture our plants to ensure that they have their needs met, but beyond that, we have to wait until they have been pollinated and the fruits and vegetables are ready to pick.
Each step in the gardening process is an opportunity to learn spiritual lessons. Being mindful and present in the moment opens the door to see what nature has to offer. We begin to realize that there is a sense of the Divine that is aiding in the growth and beauty of the outer garden as well as our inner garden. There is a definite interdependence between what happens in the garden and our spiritual growth. The fruit trees, squash, corn, carrots and most other plants must have bees and birds to pollinate the plants if they are to bear fruit. Just like the plants, we cannot move forward spiritually without the assistance of the Divine. We are filled with gratitude that our life is being enriched by sowing the seeds of empathy, love and humility. Every plant will florish if they have sunlight, fertile soil and water. We will also florish if we spend the time in prayer, meditation and contemplation. The fruits of our labor will present themselves in due time.
Every plant experiences the entire life cycle from birth, life, death and rebirth as it coincides with the change of seasons. We too experience the change of seasons and will ultimately accept the full life cycle in our own lives. The garden has so much to teach us.
It also doesn’t matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs might be. The benefits of gardening and making the spiritual connections will resonate with everyone.
This site is dedicated to exploring all aspects of gardening and how it enriches our spiritual life. Through the symbolism of tending to our outer garden, we will realize the direct connection and necessity of tending to our inner garden. Our Spiritual life will be deeply enriched just by following the experiences in the physical gardens.
Enjoy the journey; it will be rich and invigorating! At the end of the gardening season, you will have realized the possibilities of a fertile spiritual life.