The garden is, in a sense, a cosmos in miniature, a condensation of the world that is open to your senses. It doesn’t end at the limits of your own parcel of land, or your own state, or your own nation. Every cultivated plot of ground is symbolic of the surprises and ramifications of life in all its varied of forms, including the human. Is the cycle any easier to accept in the garden than in a human life? - Stanley Kunitz
I had been rummaging and rifling through all sorts of books and poems in preparation for the women’s retreat that I was asked to present at last weekend and was quite glad to have found this nugget by poet and avid gardener, Stanley Kunitz. This one is a keeper. I love it.
The garden is quite the teacher. It offers us a language to talk about our experience. Abundance, lush, drought, thirsty, fallow, compost. These words can describe our own interior landscape, sometimes mirroring the one outside. Or not.
The retreat was an invitation to reflect on landscape, how it sculpts and shapes the interior and exterior self, and how we can create a sense of home, of safety, wherever we are. Sure, we may not all be able to live in Tahiti (is that really a destination for people?) or own a home, but there are some things we can do to create a space that nourishes, that feeds our spirits.
I did a container garden presentation to illustrate one way we can create sacred space. I lugged a good-sized pot, a bucket of soil, a wooden crate full of delicious plant material, along with some passion to North Bend and we all created a fabulous time, I think!
Thank you ladies for your engagement and questions, as well as welcoming me into the rich conversation. I left inspired!
Here is a list of the plant material I promised to post:
Carex testacea (Orange sedge)
Anemanthele lessoniana (Who can pronounce that? I say Pheasant tail grass)
Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’
Comprosma ‘Roy’s Red’
Heuchera ‘Georgia Peach’
I also threw in some winter pansies, variegated ivy, and golden creeping jenny.