Sunday, March 23, 2008
The Spiritual Practice of Organic Gardening
I've discovered an interesting and sad thing in trying to get the word out about my book Sacred Land: Intuitive Gardening for Personal, Political & Environmental Change (Llewellyn, 2007). There seems to be a fear or perhaps a disinterest among gardeners in talking about spirituality. I find this strange, because most gardeners I know would attest to the spiritual nature of their organic garden. Growing food and working with the land brings us face to face with Spirit, the Goddess, God, Life, the Powers That Be. But no straight garden blogger, radio show host, or magazine will talk about that. (Possibly it's the Goddess part that scares people? Is it safer to talk about God in the American garden?)
I think we dearly need a spirituality that includes the planet in order to save ourselves from our current environmental crisis. When the Earth is sacred, we will shift our values to live sustainably. We will stop the coal burning, gas guzzling, chemical spraying, and strip mining. We will honor our neighbors of all species. We will spend our money on living well in right relationship, and not killing ourselves, our children, and our planet.
These are goals most gardeners share, by nature of their reliance on and love for the soil, sun, and water that bless their hobby or profession. So what is it about naming the process of gardening integral, intuitive, and spiritual that leaves the gardeners so silent?
If you are a gardener, and you think gardening is a spiritual practice or brings you in contact with Spirit by whatever name, stand up and be counted. Our very lives may depend on it. I invite you to share your stories and thoughts here.
Written by Clea Danaan
Clea Danaan grew up in the Pacific Northwest; she now lives in Colorado. she is the author of five books relating to nature-centered spirituality and natural family living. She writes about nature mysticism, chickens, homeschooling, permaculture, and more. Her books have been published in more than six countries and translated into several languages, including French and German.