Right. Witchy lesson from year one. But sometimes it's hard to remember to get off the cellphone and laptop for a few hours, and go worship Mother Gaia.
Lucky for me, my husband keeps me grounded. He's not pagan, but he is a Missouri farm boy from way back.
One early spring morning I came into the kitchen, and he was all happy and bouncy. "What?" I turn to pour my coffee, and there they are, lined up like little paper soldiers on the breakfast bar. His precious vegetable seeds have arrived.
I take my coffee cup outside and he marches me around the newly-turned earth in my nightgown. "I'm going to try the tomatoes someplace different this year," he announces, inserting seed packages in the ground as markers. Early Girls Heirloom, Better Boy, Sweet One Hundred.
I run my fingers through the rich soil, and already I can see slices of bright red tomatoes, waiting to be added to the crisp bacon slices laying on the open-faced sandwich. I'll use the blue plates, they make such a pretty contrast….
Paul has already walked away, still talking. "I potted the herb plants earlier, before you got up."
He's left me kneeling in the dirt in my nightgown, and is now standing by a neat row of ceramic pots assembled on the patio table. "Look." He points at a pot on the end, and I come over to look, brushing the dirt off my knees. "I found some more white sage."
"Hello, you little ceremony in a pot," I murmur to the thin plant. "We'll take you up to the cabin to live with your older sisters. You'll like the cooler weather there."
"Oh!" He picks up another pot. "I also got you some patchouli."
I smile. He's pagan, he's just not interested in labels.
Gardens offer us a perfect opportunity to reconnect and remember our place in the natural world.
Instead of approaching gardening as many modern suburbanites do – a way to tame and dominate their little part of the planet, our family sees it as a partnership with Nature.
We respect the earth, water, insects and animals. We buy or cultivate seeds and make our own compost. I aim to communicate with the plants, birds and insects in our garden, and listen for any messages they may have for us. (Well, except for the scorpions. They have spoken – and twice I've been stung. They're mean, and I want nothing more to do with them. But that's a story for another post.)
We didn't do it this year (it warmed up too early), but most years we plant in rhythm with the cycles of the moon. I've also printed chalk symbols on the garden walls to bless it. Hung wind chimes in the mesquite tree over the garden, so the plants can enjoy the music on balmy summer nights. Spread jeweled stones along the path down the center. Next I think I'll do simple altars at the four directions: A stone cairn in the north, bird bath in the east, and so on.
You might choose to ignore the clock time and water your garden when the sun hits a certain position in the sky. What fun! By opening your garden experience to nature's input, you can closer witness her cycles.
Everything you do--picking out seeds and planting, thinning and weeding, and finally harvesting—is a ritual dance with Mother Nature.
When we recognize that we are co-creators with the earth and the natural world, our relationship with the environment begins to change. We no longer feel the need to control all the circumstances around us and can relish the perfection in which we share.Are you thinking of planting a garden? Vegetable, herb or flower?
I'll leave you, then, with a blessing for your sacred space:
Assist me now, by the powers of earth, air, fire and water.
Merge your magic with mine, circle around this place.
As we now celebrate the creation of a sacred garden space."
Blessed be, Gardeners.