Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Closer to the Spirit of the Place

maple tree
There is a side of me that is simply awed by what goes on in my garden. From one end of the season to the other (I take a day between the start of the garden season and the end of it to not-garden for one day) I am amazed by the goings-on out there.

I know that many others feel the same way. I got a note from a reader last week that said, “I feel closer to God in the garden than anywhere else”. I thought that just about summed it all up nicely.

Whatever your concept of God is. However that manifests itself for you in whatever religion or denomination makes sense to you, there is an ineffable spirit in the garden that touches us all.

Some don’t know they’ve been touched by this spirit (and that’s OK too) while others such as my reader know it all too well and intensely.

In my case, I do reach out and touch the spirits of the place. I do feel them on bright sunny mornings as they stir and start their daily work; their gentle morning caress makes us both feel good. I do feel them on rainy days like today as the wildness of the wind reaches out as I wander the blustery walkways between raindrops. I am calmed as I sit on moonlit nights in the silence of the place with waves and breezes for a gentle backdrop.

But today is for the wildness. It’s the power of wind and waves out there today as the rain and wind whip the water into whitecaps that curl and foam down the channel. It’s a day when the leftover perennial seedpods are crashing open and spreading their season’s bounty downwind for next year’s production. The trees are shedding their leaves at a furious rate and I’ll be surprised if the maple tree has a leaf left by nightfall. The shrubs are holding onto theirs for the moment but the banana tree doesn’t have a whole leaf left – they’re shredded beyond recognition.

It’s a day when you lean into the wind as it plucks at your coat fastenings trying to convince you to abandon reason and revel in its power with your bare skin. When you tuck your coat tighter to your throat or – just for a moment – relax and let the wind have its shivering way with you.

It’s a wild day in my garden and I love it. Closer to the spirit of the place indeed.


At 11:57 AM, Blogger Heidi said...

You know.. there is a hymn that we sing in church, and it is called In The Garden... and every time I hear or sing it my eyes well up.

I looked up what the author was thinking when he wrote it.. and realized, nope that isn't it..

But when I walk out in my garden, and just sit and look and listen, I realize, that is what I am thinking of in that hymn, and you and the reader from last week are 100% on target.

Thanks for this post... You made me smile, and you are as usaual... Right on...!

At 12:13 AM, Blogger Blackswamp_Girl said...

Beautiful post, Doug. :)

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Iris/Lily said...

You do have a wonderful way with words Doug. What a gift!

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Doug Green said...

Thanks for all the kind words. I'm not sure that writing is a gift or a dedication to the craft of telling a story... over and over again until you get it right. :-)

At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Dee said...

I read your blogs regularly now, and agree with other readers you have a way with words, that seems to sum up all our thoughts that we non-writers can't put into words.
As I roam over my large country garden now, the leaves falling, the wonderful grasses swaying,the perennials all looking forward to their long winter sleep, I dream of the day in spring when once again I walk around and say an outloud" Hello and Bless your heart " to the green shoots peeking out from the leaf mulch, or even a surprize flower, and again thank whatever out there does this wonderful miracle each year.

At 10:32 AM, Anonymous Geoff (in England) said...

The line you were sent was from a wonderful poem by Dorothy Frances Gurney, called 'God's Garden'. The full verse reads:

"The kiss of the sun for pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden
Than anywhere else on earth."


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