August 18, 2010
The early August summer morning has wonderful light flowing across the garden. After sunrise colors have faded, white light filters through morning watering. No rainbow this morning due to the angle of light, rather a brilliant spattering of luminous drops fills the air. Refracted and refracted again, light only allows sight of the garden when quaking sprinklers angle and mix water and light, newly. Each tick of the sprinklers floats a new painting of light. Each painting feeds the soul and the fruit of the garden.
There is talk about the need to return to gardens—inner city gardens, community gardens, backyard gardens, and church gardens. Gardening folk naturally understand why gardens benefit communities. Gardening allows the soul to awaken to the natural intimate relationship it has with earth. Deeply residing in every soul is a need to connect with earth regularly. Not to say everyone needs to garden, but rather to say gardeners provide spiritual healing for more than themselves. That reconnection, for the gardener and the observer of gardens, is critical for good life.
The soul knows the soil from which it came and which life without is impossible. Reaching into the ground, picking it up, allowing it to flow between the fingers back to its home is necessary for every human. Be it brown or red, black or gray, soil reminds the body that meaningful life is lived in simple relationship between Creation and ourselves. When this life giving relationship becomes playful on a summer morning, blending sun and air and water and plant and soil, soulful paintings burst forth.
A Lakota Nation elder shared the insight with me that the Genesis account of creation illustrates our sacred ties to one another, as the colors of our human flesh-tones are also colors of the soil/dust of the earth that God breathed life into.
Isn’t it great to know the ancient people thought of created life is an intimate relationship with the soil? And isn’t powerful to grasp that truth is as much a challenge to us as a gift?