The Encyclopedia of Britannica states that the instinct and enthusiasm people share for gardening occurs all over the world and over all periods of human history with the earliest known garden plan from Egypt in 1400 BC. The encyclopedia goes on to say that the shared human desire to garden is from a “response to nature…a wish to produce growth and harmony in a creative partnership with it”. With this knowledge, it is no great shock that many people have turned to gardening in today’s time of uncertainty.
I feel an internal shift as winter starts to fade into spring each year, a growing wonder in my soul. A need to dig deep into the soil that surrounds me and plant a seed to bring nourishment and joy in the coming weeks and months. Each new sign of life grows my enthusiasm to plant another so that I may watch and learn from the way it develops. Every season of gardening my knowledge heightens as each flower, bush, and vegetable brings with it new insight on how to use the land around me. In this way, we are all growing together.
Harmony is found as I leave behind all other expectations and worries of today to step into the garden, where both my hands and mind are busy caring for the life around me. I open the gate and look in on the kale, radish, lettuce, onions and others, greeting them as both new and old friends. I wander to the hydrangeas and irises to see new leaf and bud has sprung overnight. Before any time has passed, the sun is setting and it is once again time for us all to rest.
Each visit to the garden, I am taught something new, small kernels of detail on how to care for the world around me. As I care for the garden, it gives back the certainty that I can change and alter my surroundings in a beautiful way. A deal is made, though not spoken, that if I come and care for the earth around me, I will learn and be nourished in return.
National Gardening Day is April 14th, and my hope for all of us is that we find and nourish growth and harmony through a partnership with the world around us.