Our Gardens: A Place of Sanity and Giving Thanks

By Linda Wiggen Kraft

Now can we give enough thanks to our gardens for the beauty, joy and sanity we have received from them in this crazy year? Brand new and seasoned gardeners spent more time than ever in gardens this year. Seed companies and garden nurseries were busier than ever. 

Perhaps the greatest gift of gardens this year is that they have been sanctuaries of sanity. Our gardens are safe and sacred places. Peace can be found there. We can be outside safe from COVID-19 in gardens. The head-pounding drumbeat of political division isn’t heard in the garden; instead bird song, wind and leaves rustling fill our ears. We can bring our sorrows there and shed tears into the soil from the heartbreak of death, unnatural disasters and hatred. The sun rises and sets, plants grow and give us food for our body and soul. 

The rhythm of garden life and its daily growth gives us peace. 

There are many ways to give thanks to a garden. A meditation of holding your garden, in your heart and sending love to the soil, plants, and other life forms that live in the garden is an easy way to give thanks. Let your heart give thanks and receive the blessings the garden can give to you.

A love letter is another way to give thanks to the entire garden or to one particular part of the garden. I recently wrote a letter of thanks to a tree in my yard that has lived with my family for the twenty-nine years that we have shared this earth spot.

The tree is a native persimmon tree I call Mother Persimmon. She has shared a bounty of sweet fruit early in September each year. Her daughter lives next door from a seed planted by squirrels. That daughter shares her fruit later in October and November. Some friends of mine planted some of her seeds. Her female and male progeny are growing in a nearby school’s outdoor classroom. One of those is a daughter who also bears fruit. 

The branches of Mother Persimmon have sharp angles and bends that are like a dance of staccato music. Her skin is craggy bark that has deep groves like mountains to the small insect I saw crawling on her. My letter to her was full of thanks. I took the letter and held it to her bark and shared it with her. After that I took a large pencil and rubbed along the bark to get an imprint of some of her. 

Although I admired this tree, I now feel a deeper connection and friendship that wasn’t there before. A shared awareness of the life we each have and the love we can give each other is something I feel not only when I am outside in the garden, but whenever I think of her. 

This November give thanks to the gardens and plants that have brought you peace and sanity in this crazy year.  

Linda Wiggen Kraft is a landscape designer who creates holistic and organic gardens. She offers Creativity Journeys, Mandala and Nature Journey workshops. 

More info is at her website and blog at:  www.CreativityForTheSoul.com Call her at 314 504-4266.