Quite a while ago, Wendy, of Picnic with Ants, suggested I join the Quote Challenge. To chose three quotes and write how they have inspired/changed/reflected my life.

The official rules are:

1. Thank the person that nominated you.

2. Write one quote each day for three consecutive days (3 quotes total)

3. Explain why the quote is meaningful for you.

4. Nominate three bloggers each day to participate in the challenge

So, thanks Wendy, for nominating me and thus making me review, think, ponder, puzzle, and such over which quotes I would chose. You are right, of course, I was over-thinking the whole process!

I won’t be nominating anyone else to participate in the challenge. I may take challenges on, but I don’t pass them along.

This is installment one:

inch by inch

row by row

gonna make this garden grow

all I need is a rake and a hoe

and a piece of fertile land

(Chorus from Garden Song, David Mallet – as sung by Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul & Mary, John Denver – among others)

When we rented a small house on a farm above the Grand Pre dikes, our landlord ploughed out a garden plot for us every spring. I decided when I was in the garden, no negative thoughts, no sad emotions, no envy, jealousy, guilt or shame. Only good vibes and to ensure I kept my promise, I would sing the chorus of the “Garden Song” I knew it from a John Denver version – probably the only John Denver song I liked, except for “Rocky Mountain High” as it was in one of my favourite all time movies, Jeremiah Johnson.

To this day, I sing that song no matter how small my garden space is: a pot in a window; a window box; a narrow strip of earth; containers of various shapes, sizes, and conditions; guerilla gardening; or just in my mind. When I am a garden space, I am calm, I am present, I am mindful (even before I knew what mindfulness was).

Sunday afternoon, I spread mulch (blackened cedar) for the first time as a favour for our friend/landlady. (I’m more of the compostey sort). And, I sang the chorus as I spread the wood chips under the cedars, around the daylilies and lavender. I was on my knees in a loose denim dress, no gloves (I dislike the feel of gloves on my hands unless absolutely necessary), playing in the mulch like a child might once have played in a sandbox.

It is good to be close to the earth – to embed it under your fingernails, to push it into the wrinkles and whorls of your finger prints. When we lose touch with Gaia, we severe a millenniums-old bond. She needs us more than ever.

© photo: phylor/lorraine 1989/2014/2018

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