29 July 2019
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As a seasoned gardener I recently realized that my relationship with nature is much like the rhythm of the martial art, Tai Chi: slow and graceful with the ability to give and receive, a sort of interactive balancing act.
In martial arts there are specific movements that are repeated and repeated, because mastery is continuous, evergreen and just seemingly out of grasp. Individuals practice for years, and it always seems new and rejuvenating.
Gardening also is an act of repetition that always feels fresh and revitalizing, because it keeps the mind in the present and living in the moment. Attention is placed in the act itself: caring, cultivating, designing, re-imaging and maintaining. It’s an ongoing flow of emotions through renewal as the work is repeated. The physical movements help to nourish the body and soul, and yet give spiritual contentment.
This exchange between the doing and the receiving in a safe sanctuary is a fundamental tenet of each–tai chi and gardening–give rise to the notion of peace and tranquility in the mist of life’s challenges. Each move in a martial is a dance of physical prowess, a way to slow down and honor time and myself. Gardening does the same: equally nourishing and taking me to a quiet, serene place, away from the traumas of the outer world. Providing me inner strength to be still as I am moving.
In the Lens section is a new addition to my gardens: crimson clover. It partners with my new wildflower garden and their symbiosis is visibly stunning. This particular clover is cultivated for its overall effects of deep reds and greens, and as important its ability to add nitrogen to the soil. As a cover crop it can be grown any time of year, but it’s meant to wintered over. I plan to plant more in a few weeks. This singular example of this eloquent and simple flowering beauty is a surprising discovery of the 2019 gardening season.