Rising early this morning, I am drawn out into my garden in the gentle rain. This sacred space has taught me again and again about letting go…about the eternal cycles of waiting in darkness, tender new growth, full fruit, death and resurrection. It’s one of the places that I go to process, integrate and pray…to pray the wordless prayers of digging, weeding, disentangling, pruning and gathering.
Leaving the house while everyone is still sleeping, I turn off Radio One and bid silence to the clamour in my head. Entering the garden, I breathe deep the moist air and seasonal scent of ferment. As I pull the dying plants from the earth, noticing their deep root systems, I continue the personal work of shedding colonialism, modernity and the pervasive patriarchy. It’s time to clear out the rotting, aphid infested places…and I think of the insidious systems of power, privilege, oppression and division so present in the reports of the morning news. I acknowledge the anxiety and grief that I am holding this season. The big and little things that I am being invited to let go of. The roles and identities that I am releasing. As I dig my hands deep within the soil, I return to essence…to Love. I release all to Creator who holds all and is making all things new.
I gather an abundance of squash and eggplants into my wheelbarrow and take courage and delight in the promise of savoury soups and ratatouille. I am filled with joy and thanksgiving for the many gifts in my life and I turn towards the next small kindnesses…the invitations to compassion that stir within my heart. I recommit to the ways that my family can be an outpost of generosity and hope and I remember the rest and self care that is needed in this work. The last plants from our garden lie now in piles to be composted. The garden is empty. Bare. I gently rake the topsoil, pull a blanket of landscape fabric over her and whisper with deep gratitude “You may rest now”.
We all need spaces where we can go to tend, gather in and let go. Times where we can welcome new growth, lay things to rest and return to that which is of essence to us. Laura and I love to create these kinds of opportunities and we invite you to join us at one of our Letting Go ~ Autumn Day Retreats this month at the Contemplative Studio.
There are two dates to choose from: Saturday October 21st or Saturday October 28th 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Please visit our Retreat Page for more details and to register!