By Suzanne Reisler Litwin – Keeping it Real
I LOVE to work in the garden. There are many reasons for this. Primarily, I love to watch things grow. I love to see life reborn, blossom, and fruit. I suppose this could be the same reason why I love children. I also, love to watch them grow. I guess it is their natural purity which intrigues me.
Another reason I like to work in the garden is to be part of the “earth world”. This environment has a very different perspective from the world we are used to. As humans, we do not usually look at the world in its purest form or up close. We tend to see things on a larger scale. We see the big picture. Occasionally, I will hear someone say, “Don’t you find that the leaves just popped out this spring!” The leaves were always growing out of their buds; they just opened big enough for us to notice. The garden is a microscopic world all of its own. Most things are very small and a lot is going on in there.
When working in the garden, you need to scale everything down to its finest form. Now that I am older, I wear my reading glasses to see what’s going on. You will see the very busy working ant hills. The budding of the tree blossoms. The worms moving in and out of the soil. The starting of the fruit buds on the fruit trees. The spiders creating their webs and/or waiting in anticipation for their unsuspecting catch. There is a whole other world going on in the ground.
There is so much to see in the garden at any time of year. Actually, there is so much to see in anything, if you really take the time to look. When I finally get down to spending a few hours in the garden, I take a break from life as a human. I try to think of myself as a creature from the land. I disconnect my phone and my attachment to any technology. I escape into the micro damp soil.
I in tune myself with the sounds and smells of the ground. I sit on the soil and work my hands into it. I look closely to see who is living in there and what are they doing. I try to acutely hear the birds, the wind, and the other animals or insects. I lose myself in that mini world. It is amazingly peaceful and time quickly evaporates. Before I know it, hours have past. The only knowledge of time passing would be the fact that I might be really thirsty and my back or knees will be aching.
Whatever you do which might bring you to this kind of place of peace is precious. A solitaire moment with a specific and different world is spectacular. Years ago I went scuba diving. When I entered the underwater world along a coral reef, I felt this kind of serenity and peace. Today I much prefer the surface and the sun to the depths of the water. Both of these environments can create this unique experience. Walking or hiking in the forest is also an activity which might bring this type of serenity. Yoga can take you there also.
Take the time to find your place which takes you away from the world that you know. Enter a new world filled with different creatures and spaces. You don’t have to travel far to find this. It’s in a park or simply in your backyard.
New Things to Try:
Don’t be afraid to enter the microscopic world of the garden. Insects and small animals are not interested in you. Look very closely at what is going on. It’s a very busy place.
Plant something, anything. Even if you live in an apartment, buy some soil, a pot, and some seeds. Watch your plants or flowers grow.
Make a picnic in the park. Place a blanket on the ground and sit on it. Touch the grass with your fingers. Lie on your back and watch the sky. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Take the time to be part of the world. Invite a friend to share this new experience with.
Go to an open market and find inspiration for planting. Look at the different plants and flowers that you can grow. See the glorious colours and smell the different fragrances
Take the time to look closely at the world. Bend down to see something or lift your head to look higher than normal. Really take the time to LOOK around.
Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an author/writer/columnist/educator. She contributes every Monday morning to the West Island Blog’s Keeping it Real Column.
She is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper. She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real. Please visit her website www.suzannereislerlitwin.com to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.