An artist shares her experiences on creatively developing, tending to and nurturing her garden as spiritual sanctuary for herself, her friends and family. Gail Allen contributes her thoughts on creating a sacred space as an oasis for soothing your soul in today's busy world, enticing your senses and and fostering your own personal growth

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Garden as a Metaphor for Life

The garden is a metaphor for life, and gardening is a symbol of the spiritual path."~ Larry Dossey 

Full Moon by Gail Allen
Paying very close attention to who you are and what you are wanting is almost unheard of in these crazy, busy times we live in, but none – the - less is needed. as much, if not more so, than ever before. We are living in a new era where the world around us changing minute by minute, in unparalleled ways.  The need to keep ourselves openly aware of the subtle intuitive realms within us and hold fear and loneliness at bay is a lofty goal, to say the least. Doing this will undoubtedly though, uphold the important evolution we are all experiencing.

There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.
                                                                  - Elizabeth Lawrence
Yakima Dwarf Rhododendron

  This is spring in the garden, as we grow older. A yearly reminder of what we once knew -  the magic that is there, if we pay attention. Chartreuse greens bright with wonder and an array of beautiful color bursting from blossoming trees, flowers and shrubs. Scents abounding; even the spring rains have an distinct smell to them. Nature is calling.

"All my hurts my garden spade can heal." 
                                                                            -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Grape Crab Apple
Japanese Maple,
  The moods we have are not the important factors in our experience. Instead, how we interpret, deal with and express them, on our own very personal level, whether it be through writing, gardening, painting, building, sculpting, acting, decorating or through interaction by way of sports. Healing the wounds of the past comes from acknowledgment that whatever you are needing, be it solitude, a lovely place of romanticism in the garden, a tribute to a memory with a meditative spot, a magical garden or just a bright, joyful, playful garden to appease the child within you, - that the place you create is a place of comfort to your soul. It should feel soothing to you like a warm blanket by the fire, or a child wrapped in his or her mother’s arms. The messages of the soul have no judgment factor to them…they are simply making you aware of what you need to resolve to open and walk through the next door.

"Show me your garden ... 
  and I shall show you what you are." ~ Alfred Austin 

Honeysuckle Vine on Arbor
White Crab Apple

It is our conscious mind that takes that message and turns it inside out, analyzing the why, what about, what for and how, etc. The soul simply states this needs to be attended to, pay attention so we may understand and move forward.
By intuitively honoring its messages and creating a place for us to interpret and observe our own soul’s landscape: the attributes, characteristics, feelings, fragrances, sounds and colors, as well as the plants that grow there and any sort of means required to rest in this spot, we are honoring those aspects of our self and giving ourselves permission for them to come forth in a safe place and time that we have created.
It's Spring...a time of new beginnings...eggs hatching everywhere around us in nature. Why not create your own chance at hatching a buried treasure, or idea deep inside of you that has been waiting for this moment to arrive. Whether on a city balcony, in a cooperative garden setting, or on your own is a time of new beginnings .... enjoy the beauty of Spring!
Virginia Snow bell, Blue Spruce, Yellow Cyprus

Water garden, Japanese Maple, Japanese Iris, Sedum

So get some paper and a garden catalog, or two. List (or cut pictures out of) the colors, textures, flowers, shrubs, trees and grasses that appeal to you. Look in magazines or on the web and find examples of gardens, follies, benches, chairs, tables, stumps, rocks, shells, statues, etc, that call out to you…"pay attention to me". What does the garden of your soul look like? You will be amazed at the beauty you will create and this in turn will help heal our planet. Springtime is full of the creativity nature offers unfurling into a beautiful creation right before our eyes. Now is the time...Enter the garden!

A healthy garden is a reflection 
                                     of a healthy soul.” ~Anonymous

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