Monday, April 25, 2011
I was sick for the last three weeks, not slowing down or allowing myself to rest very much had finally caught up with me. The place I feel rested and at peace is in the garden, always. I am back in my home, back in my garden and the world is right once again.
As I cleared the last of the debris from the kitchen garden last week my thoughts swirl in and around ideas and the path to the reality I'm living now. Words by the great poet Stanley Kunitz flit through and I find myself alone with my thoughts. It is the place I find grounding and stillness.
There was the vibrant greens of lettuce and swiss chard in the center as I scraped and cleared weeds. The white bones of last year's tomato plants stared up from moist dirt reminding me that all paths lead to death. So many circles come full in the garden and one can not ignore life, death and rebirth. They are always close.
I have felt the struggle of death and re-birth as I reclaim this land and the life I love. The pain of goodbye hangs near, like the rich compost that becomes part of the new. Stanley's words bring tears to my eyes:
"The heart breaks and breaks
and lives by breaking
it is necessary to go through
dark and deeper dark
and not to turn "
I have felt like turning. I have learned to just take the next step when I couldn't figure out for the life of me where I was going or how to do anything. Sometimes just taking the next small step in the dark of night can get you to the other side. Sometimes the dark of night is just fodder for the garden. The death that breathes new life. Let the dark and death do their job....this is what I've learned. Because the garden is always there, maybe covered in weeds and hard to see. But it's there...waiting.
The children I've grown, the herbs and plants and bees and pets I've nurtured, they will all face their death too. Let today breathe new life and the deaths we create be meaningful. This is my wish.
I have my garden, I have love, I have beautiful children to share the sunshine of today with. I have three ducklings just starting their life/death journey, I have shelter for all of us and it is enough. More than enough. Stanley would understand.....
"When you look back on a lifetime and think of what has been given to the
world by your presence, your fugitive presence, inevitably you think of your
art, whatever it may be, as the gift you have made to the world in
acknowledgment of the gift you have been given, which is the life itself...
That work is not an expression of the desire for praise or recognition,
or prizes, but the deepest manifestation of your gratitude for the gift
— Stanley Kunitz