A Peace & Healing Garden – 2021

Linda Wiggin-Kraft Healing Garden

After the trauma of 9/11, 2001, I wanted to create a healing space for people to collectively process what just happened. I created a Peace & Healing Garden. Now almost 20 years later I am creating a second Peace & Healing Garden to help myself and others process and heal from the traumas of 2020 and 2021.

I live on a quiet street with many walkers coming by. After 9/11, I put a basket of handmade papers about the size of an index card with a ribbon attached and sharpie pens outside near the street. I put up a sign explaining that this was a Peace & Healing Garden. I invited people to write their grief, sadness, fears, memories, prayers, hopes and dreams on the papers and hang them on the nearby branches of a bush. Many people did. Most thoughts were written by people walking by. A few people drove to the garden after reading about it in different publications. One prayer was written in a foreign language, by someone visiting the U.S. All were beautiful, touching and heartfelt. This garden helped in the healing of that time.

We now need ways of healing the traumas of 2020 and 2021. We are moving forward with vaccines to help in the cure of this horrible pandemic, but there is still much darkness to go through. We are moving forward with the voices, votes and leadership of people committed to the truths of our democracy, but there is still much darkness in the disunity of our American family. 

A 2021 Peace & Healing Garden is an offering anyone can make to themselves and others as a way to help in processing and healing of last year and the new one we are in. My new Peace & Healing garden will be next to the street in a small garden with a nectarine tree. I will again put up a printed laminated sign stating what the garden is about. I will have a basket of papers with ribbons, sharpie markers and pencils near the sign. I will invite people to write on the papers and hang them on the branches of the tree. 

I invite and encourage anyone else to create their own Peace & Healing Gardens. These gardens can be for one person’s own use, a family’s sharing or a neighborhood/community sharing. May these gardens be spaces of healing that we all need now. May the thoughts shared flow into the world through the wind like prayer flags, and may they fall into the soil to nurture life.

If you would like to create a sign for your garden, please feel free to use the words of my garden sign: “Peace & Healing Garden (headline). The soil of a Peace & Healing Garden is a place where grief, sadness, fears, memories, prayers, hopes and dreams can be expressed, shared and given to the winds of the world and the soil of mother earth. Here we can remember those who have lost their lives during this pandemic. We can honor those who have tirelessly and bravely worked to heal, nurture and serve us all. Here we honor and reaffirm our love of and commitment to truth and love of our country. Here we honor the unity of all. In winter the garden is quiet, but these shared thoughts are seeds of new growth and blossoms that will emerge in this garden and the world. Please allow this garden to facilitate healing and bring peace to all in 2021 and beyond.”

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.