CommunityApril 24, 2008
In addition to my own garden, I am also spending time at a community garden plot. Community is definitely something that is part of my pathwork right now. Being accepted into the family at the INSTITUTE was disconcerting. Most of us who got that early morning phone call welcoming us and inviting us to participate were thrilled. For many of us, the path to this portal had been treacherous and hard scrabble. In talking with Salmon boy, I realized it would have been easier if they had told me I wasn’t good enough. Rejection – I know that feeling – and I thrive on it. It is my wound and my gift. The gift propels me to be inquisitive, resourceful, curious, and a creatrix of synthesis. Acceptance is such a difficult state for me. What does it mean to be accepted into this community? to be welcomed with open arms? to allow myself to matter to others? to allow others to matter to me? It scares the living daylights out of me!!!!!!!
Solitary I know. Independent I know. Alone I know. Loner I know. One on one is great. Small group is possible. Large community of seekers and questers – yikes! Already I find myself falling into familiar patterns of seeking out the intimate one on one relationships within the greater whole.
I take all these reactions into the garden. I weed out the bindweed that keeps me constricted. I am making space. Just as giving up Divine Feminine Wisdom created space for me, weeding is creating space. And the new plot in the community garden is only space. It is a 20 x 20 plot of tired soil that had been farmed heavily and then reverted to a thistle infested grassy field. Transforming it into the deep, black, organic rich soil that I have at home cannot happen in a season. It will take patience and time. This 400 square feet is teaching me a lot about time and patience.
The Shenandoah Valley is traditional in many ways. Looking around the plots in the community garden, most are laid out in linear rows with a path between that can be howed and kept weed free. A few, are using the square foot method. My plot is the only one with chipped Christmas tree mulch in the paths, sieved mulch on the beds, and an array of beds – 3×3, 4×4, 3×10 and other shapes. In the geometric center of my plot, is a round circle that I intend to fill with towering sunflowers.
When I look at all the plots, there is a part of me that envies the simplicity of the perfectly howed straight beds. I imagine that the men and women who tend these beds are happy. I imagine that not because I have any reason to believe they are happy, but because I recently heard about a study that found that people who don’t consider the world as complex, are happier than those who see the world as shades of gray and impossibly rich in possibility. My 20 x 20 plot is complex, complicated, beautiful, and invites curiosity.
I think I just described myself – complex, complicated, beautiful, and inviting of curiosity.
What does your garden say about you?