A Pause To Give Thanks

by Linda Wiggen Kraft

There is a special garden time that takes place in the fall. It is a time of pausing, where the balance between garden growing and garden resting takes place. It is a like that pause between taking a breath in and a breath out. Sometimes that place of balance, whether in a breath or in a garden, is overlooked. It is a short time, yet a necessary and important time in the cycle of life.  That pause is a quiet time of peace that is the perfect time to gather thoughts of thanks and gratitude for this past growing time of gardens.

Gathering these thoughts of thanks can be done in many ways. One way is to find a quiet place to sit and write down memories of your garden’s and other gardens’ past year and years. These memories can be season by season, month by month or in any order. They can be short, only a few sentences, or long as page upon page.  Writing these thoughts is a type of journaling that shares honest feelings.  The words are your own that you may share with only yourself, and your garden.  There may be some clearing out of thoughts that don’t feel grateful, especially after last summer, but most often underneath those feelings is a heart opening that will let you feel and express thanks for all a garden gives.

Often the small and mundane experiences are the jewels of memories.  Write about those.

This time of year makes me long for the walks with my dog around the block where a maple tree in a neighbor’s garden drops its golden leaves with bright red stems.  The leaves carpet the sidewalk and light up our walk as we pass through this magical space.  The yellow reminds me of the same golden glow in the woods at my grandparent’s dairy farm that made it seem that the sun was rising out of the forest floor when the fall leaves fell.

Let your memories take you to a place of grace, where you feel the connection to creation, Creator, nature, the garden and all the life of the garden.  Write your thanks and keep them together with your other garden thoughts and memories.  You may even want to share them with your garden.  Reading them, aloud or silently, in the garden is one way. Another is to make copies, fold them up and bury them in the garden, as seeds of thanks.  In whatever way you choose, share your thanks with the garden and the garden will hear.

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a mandala artist and garden designer who uses the wisdom of many traditions in her work. Visit her new blog: www.creativityforthesoul.com/blog or (314) 504-4266.


From the Pros:

Plant Professional love plants and what they bring to not only their lives but to other’s lives.  The work is hard and the wealth that comes from working with plants is the heart felt satisfaction of working with nature.  Please read what truly inspires these plant pros.

“I love my gardens all year long, but fall is a special time to relax and enjoy the fruits of my labor all year.  The fall tree and perennial colors are fabulous.  The fall breezes feel good to the whole body. The lower humidity and cooler days make being outside a pleasure.  Even leaf removal from the yard (and onto my flower gardens) is a fun experience this time of year.  I spend time drooling over my successes of the season and start dreaming about the changes I will make next year.  You can’t beat making friends with Mother Nature in the Fall!!!!”

Sandi Hillermann McDonald, Hillermann Nursery & Florist, 2601 E. 5th Street, Washington, MO 63090. 636 239-6729, www.hillermann.com.

“A couple years ago my dad started an orchard at our family’s place out in the country.  He wanted his future grandchildren to be able to enjoy picking cherries, apples, pears and peaches from the trees he planted.  This summer, while strolling through that field, my husband and I got our first taste of the sweetest and juiciest cherries I’ve ever had… later that week we found out we were having a baby girl.  Someday soon, she’ll be enjoying the fruits of his labor, and for this, I am so grateful.”

Jennifer Schamber, Greenscape Gardens, 2832 Barrett Station Rd, Manchester, MO 63021 314 821-2440,www.greenscapegardens.com

“We feel grateful as landscape professionals to bring the simple beauty of nature to everyone. In an age where we are always connected to our digital devices, we get a great sense of fulfillment by providing natural outdoor spaces for our clients. Our gardens, plants and backyards give us a place to enjoy nature, unwind and disconnect in our over stimulated lives.”

Daniel Mee ,Frisella Nursery, 550 Hwy F, Defiance, MO, 63341,  636 798-2555, www.frisellanursery.com.