Monday, February 07, 2011

Home Soil

Every garden is based on affinity for and knowledge of the ground, on true intimacy and kinship with your home soil that comes not only from cultivating the garden but also from sitting completely still on the earth that you garden, and walking aimlessly and mindfully about on this same ground. These practices are rooted in listening to your soil and in following your garden down to its source. Begin by sitting still and doing absolutely nothing. Make yourself very comfortable on the ground and then, don't move at all. Give your full attention to what is happening around you. Watch the shadows of the black mulberry leaves move like cirrus clouds across the face of your garden. Be ordered by the beat of the ruby-throated hummingbird pulling red nectar out of full-blown salvias. Sink down to earth and sit deep in the saddle of your home garden. Settle yourself on yourself and let the flower of your life force bloom.

~Wendy Johnson in Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World.

Landscape Guy dropped this book off at my house a week or so ago, and I am absolutely LOVING it. Reading it along with David Abrams' Becoming Animal (I've always been one of those readers who has a number of books going at once; it used to drive my mother crazy. Do you do this or do you read one thing at a time?) is an amazing experience in connecting to the Earth as part and parcel of a spiritual practice.

What do you know about your home soil that you didn't know a year ago?

Picture found here.


Sobeit said...

Oh yes, yes. I usually have two or three books going at the same time. Sometimes I am in the mood type of book or story and other times I feel like something else.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

I'm afraid I'm one of those who has to stick to one book at a time - I tend to give it my full attention and spend some time living in it, and I'm unable to manage two at once.
I'm also no good at multi - tasking, sorry Sisters. :)

I know now that my home land can hold once heck of a lot of water and not flood. Very porous - which I should have extrapolated, seeing as how the soil is a pretty loose conglomerate in many areas. With the unprecedented rain we've been having this summer, I've seen my land drink and drink and never get drunk.

Terri in Joburg

Anne Johnson said...

I can't get the two-book thing going very well. But I do know how to sit in my patch of ground and feel it doing its green thing. My approach to gardening is so hands-off that Spare's environmental science teacher wants to bring the class over to see an "eco-friendly" lawn. I've got one patch of grass that has grown to maturity. Why mow it? The seed heads are pretty.

boros1124 said...

It's so bad when I read a book, you can assign, but not available in my country. Unfortunately, here in Hungary where the most popular online bookstore ( can not be found, it is nowhere in the country.