I see cherry and plum blossom bursting forth daily. As I look at a plum tree it fills me with feelings of wonder, even though there’s a window between us, the heater hums, and sounds of rain splash on the deck.
The raindrops twin with white blossom―we stay in silence. An older, wiser part of myself communes with the plum tree, Something is exchanged and we are both giving and given! So easy to dismiss, forget, move on.
Now my umbilical cord to Mother Earth has become two-way!
Ruth from Berkeley, California, expresses her gratitude through her photos:
“In our present-day focus on speed and multi-tasking, there is a tendency to lose oneself. My work is an invitation to stop, look, and experience the wonder of nature, for that connects us to the world around us and to our deeper self. For that moment we can feel the delicious gift of life.”
You can see more of Ruth’s work at www.ruthgilmore.com
WALKING THIS EARTH
There are ways to walk and love the Earth with each step. Walking with loving awareness, I feel my heel make contact followed by the sole of my foot rolling through to the ball and toes―a gentle stroking of the ground like a fond caress.
As one foot lands you could silently say “Love”, and as your other heel touches the ground say “You”. Let it flow rhythmically with your breath and steps. Now’s a perfect time if you have a mantra. Thich Nhat Hanh states in his amazing book, Love Letter to the Earth, “Walking with one hundred per cent of your body and mind can free you from anger, fear, and despair.”
How does the magic of being in the garden work? What does the Earth do that restores us to ourselves? If it’s a state of being, how do we carry it into our busy lives?
My friend, Carina, told me her gardening story while we were travelling together in a car.
I look at the garden from my bedroom window. I keep putting off getting into the garden. It seems so overwhelming with five foot high weeds.
Last Saturday, my friend, Manuel, came over. We looked at the garden and shook our heads, “Where do we start?” Three hours later with two pairs of hands, backs, and hearts, we’d prepared three quarters of the soil and put in seven tomato plants.
Earlier in the winter I’d dumped chicken manure on the beds. Tilling the soil and mixing in the manure, I was delighted when these long worms started popping out. Gusanos, Raphael explained. After pulling the weeds we discovered young kale, planted in the fall and now thriving.
Being in the garden helps me down-shift. During the week, most of the time, I’m running around in my head. I don’ take time to look. In the garden, I’m moving slow. I’m plodding along with no music or distractions. I’m noticing the bees swarming, the plants, the breeze―there’s a lot happening in this space. I like smelling the roots, leaves, as well as flowers. Time disappears in this ordinary little pleasure. It helps me to drop into being in my body, resonate with life’s flow. And that’s extraordinary!