Monday, 9 January 2012

Hands in soil

I truly believe that each of us has the power to connect to the energies of the universe that pulse all around us. Look deeply and we are all but an orchestra of vibration, intrinsically designed to sustain life without us knowing how or having to think about it...just as the trees are, the spring trilliums and summer daisy, the red leaf of Japanese maple in the fall. 
My Garden June 2008

Everything is connected. 

It is for this reason that I never wear gloves when I garden - I prefer to feel the warmth of the soil between my fingers and the gentle tangle of roots when I am working. Peace flows through my soul when I am lucky enough to find a few hours alone in the garden. I can't bear to wear gloves and feel cut off from all that goodness.

My students like to comment on my gloveless state as it is in contradiction to the safety lessons we teach them. 

I was working with a group of inmates in October, replanting some divisions of blue fescue we had made. Mr. C (who's name I am not allowed to use here) often preferred to work alone with me. He was a giant of a man with a gentle heart. Mr. C had never worked in a garden before, nor had he been particularly enthusiastic about manual labour at all, and was clad head to toe in all the protective equipment he could possibly wear. "Miss B" he asked "why aren't you wearing gloves? And I told him all the reasons I mentioned above. He knelt down beside me and sat in silence for a few minutes. Then he took off his gloves and slowly began digging in the garden with his hands, preparing a planting hole for the fescue. I watched his face change and lighten from initial fear to something resembling bliss. "That's nice" he said. His smile said it all. He made his connection. 

After that day, Mr. C  opened up and became more active in our project. He began talking about favourite plants and plans for his own garden and is thinking about staring his own lawn maintenance company. He found hope in the soil and a glimpse of a future that could contain all things good. 


  1. Brenda,

    I couldn't agree more! There is nothing quite like connecting with the earth by getting your hands dirty in the garden. I also love the smell.... "In Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt." --Margaret Atwood.

  2. Great quote!! I will have to post that in my kitchen...I am always covered head to toe come spring, my kids love that their Mom gets dirtier than they do. One of the sweet joys in life : ) Thank you for taking the time to share this with me!