Saturday, August 22, 2009


SEEDS FOR LIFE


Bob's comment on my previous post got me thinking again about something that I've often touched upon herein in one way or another, because it is so close to my heart: the value of a home garden.

Apart from the natural wealth a garden provides as a source of the deliciousest, healthiest, freshest produce, a garden is a superb gymnasium and place of work meditation-- but perhaps most importantly, for the kids it's a gateway to the root of things, an opening to the deep reality of the world, so radical (and necessary) a departure from the illusions of TV, movies and video games as to be like water to one lost in the desert...

When the girls come to visit I right away take them to learn with their own eyes the latest news of the garden, to glimpse here and there on the dark soil, beneath the big green shady leaves, the now much bigger golden butternut squashes-- they come out of the ground!

And little hands reaching into tangles of tomato vines to get at the bright red fruits hiding there in the depths like suns in a galaxy-- how fast they fill the big basket! Then on top of those go all the slenderfinger greenbeans that only a moment ago were beckoning from their vines, saying pick me! pick me! now green on red in the basket...

The same hungry hands pull upward on a bunch of feathery leaves growing straight up from the earth beside the tomato vines, until there's a soft sound and out from the ground comes a big orange carrot, a real carrot there at the end, then another and maybe another for lunch...

We turn around and there are the tall pepper plants, where the shy peppers hide like shiny green leaves among the green leaves - a couple of those - then one of the girls looks up at the big wall of soft green growing up the net, where high up here and there hangs a knobbly goya - still too small for today though--

Then there is ginger and basil, pumpkins and sunflowers, spinach and gobo, shisso and broadbeans-- all organic, grown using the compost the girls helped gather and pile up last autumn-- as a result, fascinating insects can live here, like those ladybugs and katydids, and that big green luna moth caterpillar sandbagging on that tomato vine like they were twins, with now and then a garden snake fleeing at top speed from the approach of us huge beings, and all in good time the crows come to check out the scene, stand around and yak, and outside there are footprints of deer that wanted to get in during the night, all that fun, learning and visual delight, seeds of thought, seeds for life, things to ponder and dream about, be nourished by-- and we haven't even eaten yet, except some beans and tomatoes, right off the vine!

Then when we do have lunch or dinner, what a better taste it is, that rainbow of rightnow flavors that fill the tongue, than we'd ever get by driving the car to the mall to get medicined generic vegetables grown far away, picked three days ago and shipped here on big trucks to lay there and wait for us to buy them, no labor of love there, no relation to us or our lives other than through cash, where's the wisdom in that, a garden is a place of wisdom, too, and closeness...

How much more the girls get from all this, the real garden, of visions and knowings, of rememberings and understandings, that will serve them throughout the gardens of their own lives, seeds that they are.

5 comments:

thomas said...

Very inspirational, like so many of your stories here - thanks for sharing!

We are moving to a new place that has a little backyard in a few weeks and especially also because of your stories I'm really looking forward to some (minor!) gardening as the space allows.

R. Brady said...

Thanks, Thomas-- and o boy, are you in for a treat; don't waste a minute gettin ready!

Tabor said...

This is what is happening with my city grandchildren and we are enjoying every minute when they visit.

Alice said...

What's that I hear in the background every time I click into Pureland Mountains? A social commentary on dolphins and things the Japanese don't know about? Am I hearing voices? Or is this real? Is this a way to get the word out legally as the voice over says? Mystery.

Maggie said...

I have forgotten how old they are. Here condo living replaces gardening......perhaps I have forgotten how.