"Is it any wonder that our minds become so scattered? Without intending to and often without being conscious of doing so, we are engaged in non-stop chatter that circles inside our heads. We make judgements, stage arguments, create rationalizations and rehearse conversations in our minds hour after hour. When so much is going on within us, we are distracted from what's going on around us, and consequently we are in danger of being more absent than present."
"We see a tree or the sky or a particular person so many times, day after day, that we forget. We forget how amazing a tree really is, how truly spectacular the sky can be, and the unique miracle of this other being. We lose sight of the extraordinary as it lies hidden in what we call the ordinary."
I've been reading this slim book almost like a devotional. I had a realization as I read the above passages this morning. Those who garden, who spend time intimately involved with creation, don't just see a tree, the sky, or the creatures in the garden. They nurture them, they touch them. Trees, the sky, flowers - they're more than just decorations in a gardener's world. Often the heightened awareness of creation in the garden carries over to awareness of the people in our lives. Gardening helps us quiet all of those conversations in our heads and it helps us listen - to the sounds of nature and to the needs of others. Maybe this isn't universally true, but it is true of the gardeners I know.
After reading these passages I went out in the cool early morning light and took some pictures. It rained before dawn this morning and raindrops lingered on the blooms and the leaves. The sun was shining behind the trees. I tried to "be still" and be present.
Wishing you stillness on this beautiful fall weekend.