The spiritual connection: the garden

“Odd as I am sure it will appear to some, I can think of no better form of personal involvement in the cure of the environment than that of gardening. A person who is growing a garden, if he is growing it organically, is improving a piece of the world. He is producing something to eat, which makes him somewhat independent of the grocery business, but he is also enlarging, for himself, the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.” — Wendell Berry

It never fails.  Gardening is both physically taxing and spiritually rewarding.

My first day back into the garden after a couple of years of neglect, then abandonment, led to profound soreness this morning as well as a pleasing, and calm, satisfaction.  Unlike the struggles I sometimes have with mental tiredness and the stress of the day’s agenda, the focus on physical labor, applied to the earth, in the cooperative effort between myself and Nature to provide food for my own consumption and to feed the soil, otherwise devoid of nutrients in this suburban wasteland of chemical dependence, is invigorating and inspirational.

Rather than bemoaning the fact that urban gardening, at least in the beginning, is more about undoing the damage done to Nature through “hurry-up” landscaping and propping up a “magazine-ready” curb appearance, teaming up with natural processes and using the earth’s own medicine produces an optimistic calm in the face of devastating opposition, the essence of joy.

The link to gardening is not lost on me.  The decision to eat a plant-based, cruelty-free diet, permanently, has brought my focus upon “the meaning of food and the pleasure of eating.”

It is a spiritual exercise, though it’s the muscles that ache this morning!

Source for Wendell Berry quote at header: 32 inspirational gardening quotes | MNN – Mother Nature Network

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