June 3: Community Gardens. Yesterday, while the world was in turmoil with rioting on the streets, I felt a sense of ease, as I walked through the gate of our local community garden. Instead of noticing the weeds, the jumble of plastic pots, the slap dash methods that gardeners were using to plant their gardens, I found I had no judgment darting through my mind.
This is a change for me, the one who likes to redesign every garden I see, bring order to chaos, remove the weeds and sow seeds in a certain patterns and most of all, creating a design on paper before planting. Community Gardens are a different way to garden, it is more about the opportunity to connect to the earth and other people. I found myself appreciative that everyone was doing the best they could do, with the piece of ground they were given, planting what they loved to eat and enjoying the company of other gardeners.
As I walked toward the square plot in the back, where two of my friends were unloading bags of compost, I passed a woman on her knees, sowing seeds. The soil was freshly tilled, the bed was long and narrow, I had a sense that this might be her first garden, perhaps because of the way she looked up at me as if I was disturbing her thinking process. She was sowing short straight rows, marking each with a stone and I might have offered advice about using a wooden tag to note the planting date, the variety, and other details that are so important, yet so easy to forget. Instead, I smiled and walked by.
The community garden plot I share is for Grateful Hearts, a community food group that grows tomatoes, basil and herbs that supplement food that is gleaned from local farms. Volunteers gather once a week for ‘Chop and Chat’, to cook full meals for the food pantry. We planned to meet at the garden to discuss our plans for the summer, yet instead began to spread the compost, transplant seedlings and pull weeds while we engaged in conversation. Two hours later, we were the last to leave, closing up the tools in the shed, and hanging the key on a hidden nail. It didn’t feel at all like work.
Moving into this new phase of life on this planet, with the current world events, and the deep sadness that engulfs the news each day, I am feeling the pull of oneness. My own connection to the garden has mostly been solitary, I’ve spent almost two decades designing and planting my sanctuary space. It is time to expand beyond, to embrace how others are learning to do the same, and to make myself available to nurture the natural connections that will ultimately lead to more fulfilling lives.
Community gardens teach us that there is no room for judgment. I am grateful that I not only can see this from a new perspective, but can feel this shift deep inside myself. It is time for all of us to coexist with tolerance, to build healthier, peaceful connections that will ultimately feed everything we do in life. It’s time to put that bench in the garden, as a reality and a metaphor to take time to reflect and reunite our body, mind and spirit to build a greener world.
Astrology tip: One of the Aquarian ideals is oneness. It goes beyond coexistence or tolerance. It considers that we are all so deeply connected that when a wrong is done to one of us, we all feel it in our bodies and souls.