Garden accoutrements seem to be displayed everywhere this time of year. Statues including pink flamingos, smiling gnomes, somersaulting children, flop-eared bunnies, and plump frogs are tucked into shrubs and carefully arranged on lawns. Fountains gurgle and bubble and sacred representations of St. Francis, Mary, and iron crosses create an outdoor sanctuary. Art for the garden makes a personal statement. A statement that can appear to be whimsical, classical or spiritual. A garden invites the senses to engage with Creation, and to commune with God.
The garden. Saints and poets have found inspiration there. The word garden, for some, evokes a mental image of a peaceful place or haven for escape. A garden, in this context, is reflected in a quote by Mexican architect, Luis Baragan…
A garden must combine the poetic and be mysterious with a feeling of serenity and joy.
Gardens, when left untended or forgotten, are soon consumed by weeds. A primary definition of the word, weed is…
A plant considered undesirable, unattractive, or troublesome, especially one growing where it is not wanted, as in a garden.
Weeds are an all too familiar sight, and anyone who has ever cared for a garden knows how tenacious weeds can be. As summer begins to wane, questions arise for contemplation.
- How does my garden grow? Not only the garden of my environment but also the garden of my spirit. What statue would I choose to place in my interior garden?
- What do I long to seed, cultivate, and nurture (creatively and spiritually) to grow to fruition?
- How might I make a sanctuary of my interior world through my sacred practices?
- Is there a neglected corner of my interior garden that is overgrown?
- What are the weeds in my garden…too much busyness, distraction, doubt?
- Is there a missing ingredient that if added to the soil within my soul, will nurture my spirit grow your longings and visions to fruition?
Perhaps it’s time to examine a long-ignored corner of your heart and soul to determine what particular aspects of your life are no longer serving you. Removing weeds from the garden creates space for the surrounding healthy and vibrant life to grow to full bloom. Seed the earth with something you will cultivate, nurture and grow… a plant, flower, fruit, or vegetable.
As you tend God’s creation, reflect on the possibilities for the growth of the interior garden of your spirit. What does your spirit need most at this time in your life to grow and thrive? How might you make subtle changes to accommodate your hopes and dreams, to grow your soul? With autumn’s arrival, you may be surprised to discover a bountiful harvest of blessings, not only in your own backyard… but within your radiant spirit, as well.
If you’d like to explore your senses as a way to engage with the Divine, you might want to learn more about Belle Coeur’s Mini-Course Awaken Your Senses: Sacred Practices for Vibrant Living.
If you like to get away from the busy-ness and distraction in your life, you might want to explore Belle Coeur’s Self-Study Course The Digital Sabbatical: Disconnecting for Diving Discovery.