by Leigh Mills

A garden is a wonderful gift of unending energy from the earth to you:  the smell of dirt bringing primordial memories of oneness rejoined; being outside, experiencing the sun, clouds, wind, rain, days of heat, cooling shade and the texture of dawn and dusk; the air felt as it moves through space and cools sweaty skin, its voice expressed through leaves.  Water is magic, vital fluid for growth.   Its abundance flows from the earth onto the earth; we rejoice in its presence.

The physical body is celebrated in all the movements required to work.  Heavy loads of dirt and rock dug up and rearranged for beds.  Years of preparation make it easier, and joy sings through the muscles as the tasks are completed in time.  The mind is working also; observing, questioning, and listening.  It is a constant companion and teacher.  The body and mind receive the light and become more balanced and healthy.

The variety of plants provides an assortment of food for human, animal and insect.  Humans enjoy leaves, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.  Compost feeds the soil.  Bees hum from flower to flower, drinking nectar and gathering pollen for the hive.  Weeds, trimmings and other castoffs benefit the chickens.  My eyes soak up the visual beauty of color and pattern of growth.  My heart is happy at home.   A garden cultivates appreciation, a selfish joy, knowing how to feed yourself with all aspects of life. As the harvest unfolds, transformation continues, a bounty of colorful jars with fruit, herbs, vegetables and sauces.  Our pantry and freezer are storing the bounty, filling our tummies through the year.

The garden is a teacher.  Working and being in it develops a deeper connection to all the cycles of life.  Seed to seed, sun to sun, with each season and breath, the veils dissolve.  I’m being shown the different forms of is, the endless mirrors of soul and realize there is no separation, just different visual forms of atomic groupings, wavelengths of light and sound.  Connected to the seeds, we learn the art of patience and observation.  The energy of creation vibrates within, echoing the timelessness of moment.

A garden gifts in many forms.  As it transforms, you transform and the world transforms with you.  A garden can be as small as one pot or an acre large.  Seeds, soil, sun, water, self and mind all contribute to the cycle of growth and health.  Become part of a garden, either your own or a shared plot.  Join together with nature to create a bountiful world, full of peace, health and light.  Happy Winter Solstice!