Harvesting Teachings From My Garden
A reflection on practice by Marcia Rose
Fall is just around the corner. The garden is my teacher on this cool early morning. I see that the tomato, cucumber and pea plants are quite obviously moving towards the end of their tenure. Filling a basket with bright red tomatoes of all sizes, prickly long green cucumbers and pregnant green peas…the harvest is abundant. The air carries that special smell of autumn this morning. As I walk near the peach tree a gentle breeze sends a strong sweet whiff directly into my nose from the fat ripe peaches hanging in the tree. Seeing, smelling and touching these experiences of summer and fall as they teeter-totter back and forth…the garden continues teaching me. My mind and heart are moved. The end of the garden is near. A touch of poignancy is felt along with great joy and deep gratitude for all the fresh, nurturing, beautiful and delicious food that is being provided. And pretty soon I will have a rest from the day by day hard work that it’s taken to nurture this garden that is now nurturing me. Physical and mental energy will be available to use in other ways as the cold seasons move in and the garden lies fallow.
And so it is for us, all living beings and every facet of this planet that we all share. Everything has its season. Everything arises and passes away…endlessly. The end of anything always provides space for the beginning of something else…the seasons and my garden teaching this to me every year. The tiny moments of our lives hold this same teaching as the experience of each moment gives way to the experience of the next moment. If we try to hold on to summer or any moment that we’re in, the heart contracts. We feel pain.
There is an almost invisible apex that manifests at the end and the beginning of seasons and moments. It is at this subtle point in the ceaseless changing nature of things where the innate manifestation of creativity lies. The garden naturally knows this and never tries to hold back, cling on or resist. I’m still learning and am so grateful for my living breathing teacher, my garden.
From the Buddha:
Anicca vata sankhara
Upada vaya dhammino
Tesang vupasamo sukho
All conditioned things are impermanent
Their nature is to arise and pass away.
To live in harmony with this truth
Brings true happiness.
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