When I Walk Quietly in the Morning Garden | The Hungry Gap

I cannot write this morning.  I’m still recovering and my brain cells need to be dusted off by warm air and sunshine.  But Rick Visser can write.  And he does write about topics close to my heart.

Here he posts a brief entry, an ode almost, to life at a cellular level.  And he reminds me of an essay I wrote years ago for our local paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, on why I garden.

Mr. Visser goes first.  When I Walk Quietly in the Morning Garden | The Hungry Gap.

And now, me.

The ground may be covered in snow but my sap still rises when I open the mail box sand see the first seed catalog nestled inside.  It means it’s time to plan my garden, gather materials and seeds and descend to the basement to start growing my crops.

How do I end up knee deep in dirt, every summer?

Gardening was my Mom’s legacy.  It was in the earth of the dozen gardens she grew that she taught me about living and dying and being reborn.

Gardening roots me.  It grounds me in beauty and order and chaos.

It is easy to see infinity when you're surrounded by it.

It is easy to see infinity when you are surrounded by it.

Sometimes, when I am sitting on the moist earth, the sun just beginning to rise and my dogs lying by my side, I swear I can see infinity.

It is the same feeling I had when I held my first grandchild.

There, in that tiny child, I saw years and lifetimes and generations marching out before me, stacked deep and deeper behind me.  The sensation was overwhelming.

In that instant, I could see my daughter, my mother, her mother and her mother before her and I knew I was holding a moment in time — never before beheld, never to come again.

In both moments, the garden and the grandchild, the veil lifts.  I feel timeless, part of the past, present and future and I feel hope.  If you garden, you feel it too.


15 responses to “When I Walk Quietly in the Morning Garden | The Hungry Gap

  1. Thanks for the quiet reflection, Pat.

  2. What an extraordinarily beautiful meditation upon gardening and infinity! I feel a sense of hope after having read it. Thank you!

    • Thanks for sharing how this made you feel. It’s been many, many years since that moment but I still hold the peace, silence and wonder of it in my heart like it was yesterday.

  3. I love this post. The influences strong women have in our lives certainly do resonate through our lives. My sister just wrote a very different post on her blog about some of the same things I felt when reading this post. http://thekingofisabelleavenue.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/tales-from-the-diggins-part-3-then-and-now/ Obviously you are one of those lucky people that are able to resurrect the Love of those who went before through shared actions.

    • How lovely and sad your sister’s story is. And how wonderful your grandmother was, too. Somewhere between then and now, I feel like most of the general population has lost its faith in actually being able to cope, to manage, to do, to be. So many people have become reliant on “experts” for everything from car repair to building to simple home repair. But not our Mom’s and, I am proud to say, not many of us over 60. I still believe that I can do it, fix it, take care of it and even beat it (illness and death). Am I delusional? Maybe a bit but better to have a delusion than no faith in my self, my intelligence and my abilities. So bravo to women and men who still take on whatever life hands them and keep fighting, loving and learning!

  4. Pat: The brief writing I am about to recommend to you may be difficult to find but would be well worth whatever effort it takes. It is by Colette. I found it in “The Gardener’s World” by Joseph Wood Krutch. Krutch excerpts a short piece from Sido, 1953, Collette’s homage to her mother.

    On one web site, I read that “Sido” was her mother’s name (her full name was Adele Eugenie Sidonie Landoy), and in Colette’s book entitled Sido, Colette writes about her childhood and Sido’s wonderful, nurturing, and powerful influence. She mixes fact with fiction to convey the influence that her mother had on her community and her daughter. Her mother was passionate about life and loved the arts, her garden, and most of all her children.

    Krutch includes an 8 page excerpt from the book, a passage that gives special attention to the garden. Clearly, her mother could ‘read’ an atmosphere in the most sensitive and inspiring way.

    Well, Pat, you’ve inspired me. I will read it again. Thank you. Perhaps I’ll quote a couple of paragraphs on my blog . . .

  5. I love what you wrote . . . you show many of the same qualities that gave Collette her immense admiration for her mother.

  6. Great post. Thank you.

    • So glad you enjoyed it. Sometimes in the hustle of gardening I forget the real reason I’m out there…

  7. What a beautiful post, thanks so much for sharing. I too have those same feelings in my garden, and with my only grandchild(so far). Generations we will never see, but will be ours just the same.

    • Isn’t it just the most wonderful feeling? I am so glad someone else has seen eternity….in the garden.

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