Leave Wild, Undisturbed Corners in Your Garden

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There is an irony that Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden must ultimately carry a caveat, being that as a conscious gardener we learn that our immediate landscapes, the ones we play with, plant things in and recreate, are not, as we thought, blank canvases to reconstruct to our own liking. Not really. They are pieces of something, a larger something of which we are all a part. And that as loving stewards of that reality we are rather obliged to consider what came before, as in the last several millions of years, and to consider that carefully as we make our mark upon whatever lands we now call “ours”, which, ultimately, they are not. For as we all know, and hate to consider, whatever we do will, as the sand paintings of the Tibetan monks, will slip away into another form, our dear selves included.
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Meanwhile, in Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden, I did write about at very least leaving corners of undisturbed spaces in our gardens, honoring the unknown, so let’s begin there, shall we?

When I was 17 and living with my family on the western banks of Puerto Rico, in a passionate moment, I wrote the following poem:
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I still take pleasure in knowing this came from me at such a tender age. One could say it is rife with teenage angst, the longing of a young girl for her own space, her own ideas, her own life away from parental eyes and ears and minds and expectations. No doubt it was in part the result of being steeped in a tropical paradise, lying under huge full moons, browned by the Caribbean sun, lulled by the unstoppable crashing of large blue waves on the nearby shore, enchanted by riding horseback on the beaches, cast into a foreign culture so radically different from my New England high school!

More likely, however, another thread in my internal process is reflected in Rumi’s oft-quoted:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

For all the delving we do, for all the Inner Child work, the Shadow work, the poking around, the self discovery, there will always be, as Einstein told us, the inevitability of mystery. Sheer mystery. Try as we will, we cannot know everything. There will be more on the other side, when the veil of illusion is lifted, when we are at last home in the comfort of all that is. If Wordsworth was correct, that our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting, what must death be?

I am told that in Scotland and Ireland the old farmers always leave wild and undisturbed corners in their gardens, where they sow nothing, out of respect for The Little People, to give them a place to be. What wild undisturbed corners do you leave within you or within your partner, your children, your parents, your closest friends? What is left respectfully and quietly for passive cultivation, for privacy, for the imagination, for discovery, for serendipity, for faith, for secrecy, for grace, for reverence, for the untapped, for the future, for the unknowable and the unknown?

Happy New Year, darling and beloved readers of this blog. May 2015 bring each of you abundance, beauty, good health and many new wonderful chapters in your lives!

Love and blessings,
Kathryn xoxo

Book News: Many thanks to those of you who purchased copies of Plant Whatever Brings You Joy as gifts for your loved ones. So appreciated!

16 Responses to “Leave Wild, Undisturbed Corners in Your Garden”

  1. Have another growing, challenging, delightful year!

  2. Thank you, Alice! Happy New Year to you! Kathryn xoxo

  3. Lovely! Happiest New Year! May it allow for plentiful growth and deep joyful fulfillment.

    Love you,
    Antonia

  4. Wishing you Great Joy, Kathryn, as we journey on in the Great Mystery! Cheers!!

  5. Kathryn, just before checking my email, I pulled an angel card asking what is the theme, focus for me
    For 2015? The card I lifted from my special table was BLANK! How perfect I thought. Then I opened your blog to see one of my favorite chapters on leaving the wild spaces…thank you for those words as reminders that much may be fallow in those open, wild or blank spaces..wait and see.

  6. Dearest Antonia, Thank you! Happy New Year, my sweet daughter! Love, Mom xoxo

  7. Maloah, Happy New Year! This is going to be a spectacular year! Kathryn xoxo

  8. Hi, Barbara, Oh, I LOVE this! Thank you so much for sharing that story! Yes, embrace the Not Knowing–and wait and see what will come! An act of Faith and Self Love. Happy New Year, dear friend. Kathryn xoxo

  9. The fight is not to leave the wild corners, but to keep rampant nature left loose only in the corners and at bay elsewhere. As I age both in years and in gardens, I have learned that the best people and the best gardens are really wild with a little grooming over the top to try to keep them from getting too shaggy. Plants grow where they are best suited, however they get planted and people live best who live with the rhythms of seasons and nature. There is a reason why the laws of thermodynamics exist. Thank you for your wisdom this bright sunny New Years Day. Love and hugs, Julie

  10. “As I age both in years and in gardens, I have learned that the best people and the best gardens are really wild with a little grooming over the top to try to keep them from getting too shaggy.” Julie, this is priceless! Should be oft quoted somewhere or other. Let’s start here. Thank you for your friendship and shared knowledge. So appreciated. Happy New Year! Kathryn xoxo

  11. LOVED today’s post and I lifted this quote….really had NEVER considered this!: “There will be more on the other side, when the veil of illusion is lifted, when we are at last home in the comfort of all that is. If Wordsworth was correct, that our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting, what must death be?”

    Also, I now will consider that wild, unattended portion of our yard, where the insects and bugs may move about, undisturbed amongst a few rambling vines and grasses.

    Thanks K. and many new year’s blessings to you.

  12. Good morning, Carol, and many thanks for the kind reflection! Yes, the critters appreciate those little untouched spaces! I’m even contemplating the value of not raking leaves through winter, as that cover is invaluable to life we may never see, but that is critical to our ecosystem. Imagine! Happy New Year! Kathryn xoxo

  13. As usual, I so enjoy & applaud your marvelous/insightful/educational essays, Kathryn…this one especially..! Thank you so very much.

  14. Happy New Year, Marlene! Thank you so very much. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! Warm best wishes for 2015! Kathryn xoxo

  15. Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts! People are so overwhelmed by wanting to have the perfect garden, that they often forget that the true and natural beauty comes from shapes and colours without patterns. The true beauty lies in the unpredictable patterns of nature.

  16. Hi, Paul and welcome! Thank you so much for your kind words. Appreciated! Kathryn xoxo

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