Monday, November 21, 2022

Tending a Difficult Garden



Turn off the news, which is almost always bad and disheartening. The door is waiting:
walk through, out into the morning, grey with promised November rain which has been too long in coming.

See the way the leaves on the trees droop from long thirst; see the earth gazing at the sky, longing for moisture. Yet, when it comes, will it be too much, like everything – sun, wind, rain, storm, floods and fire – has been too much for so long?

Never mind. Today, we need only Be, with the air and the sky, with the soft forest trail and the waiting trees, wafting their peaceful energy towards us, wrapping us in Green, in silence, in a world out of time that is timeless, that has always been.

Remember to step softly, and not crush the mosses. Make a wide berth of the slug’s slow passage across the trail. Note the way the yellow swamp lanterns lift their heads, without a care in the world, even in this mad time we are living. Their mandate is to grow; yellow and green is all they know.

Breathe in peacefulness; breathe out gratitude, for the beauty shining all around, and for the way Mother Earth keeps gifting us sunrises, sunsets, growing things, baby creatures, even though we have forgotten how to tend our garden gently. Even though so many have done such great harm. Like every mother, she continues to give her heart and her gift of life, hoping we will tend it well, yet knowing some of us will hurt her and break her heart – and still she gives.

Here is something the trees told me: when we walk through the forest, loving them, in awe, head tipped back, they start to love us back. Even the rocks, the ferns, the salal, the winter berries are reflecting our love back to us. (How is it that only some of us know this?)

If you sing, softly, so only they and the nature spirits can hear, they smile; small birds cock their heads to listen. An owl opens her yellow eyes, then blinks. And, deeper in the bush, a wolf cub wakens in his burrow and tries out his first small baby howl.

There be spirits here – the ancestors shapeshift among the trees; the morning mist is clothed with spirit walkers. Long ago, they told us that we are meant to be here at this time, when the world stands at the brink of a major shift, uncertain which way to go. Rainbow warriors have hearts of every hue;  lovers of the earth everywhere on the planet are dreaming in green.

It may take us longer than our lifetimes and our children’s lifetimes to return to the garden, to gather around the fire and begin again with small gardens and respect. One lesson we need to learn, and to teach: when we take, we must give back, so the children’s children’s children may also live. Like the salmon dying in the dried out riverbeds still try to make their way home, we may also die along the way. But the journey matters, and others will follow. And one day this big beautiful blue-skied world will smile again.


for Brendan's prompt at earthweal: Tending a Difficult Garden, a concept that appeals to me. 


  1. My hope and prayer is that there is at least one of you two and three generations from now who not only remembers how to garden but walk in it as well. Love it!

  2. Mmm such beauty in your writing. "Today, we need only Be". I love that line. And what the trees told you. So good.

  3. This is as beautiful reminder of all we have to be thankful for. "To only be" is enough, like Mother Nature and to step softly. Nice one, Sherry.

  4. The journey does indeed matter, and really, in the end, it's all we have. I can feel your deep and loving heart in this Sherry, and in a time where here in the States we pretend to be thankful more than experience that grace, I am truly grateful for it. And you ask the right questions..".. will it be too much, like everything – sun, wind, rain, storm, floods and fire – has been too much for so long?" We can't know, and like many, we ourselves may never know, but we can still give back all we can.


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