Lost in the Garden

I lose all sense of time in the garden, and then I lose myself. It’s a common enough experience among gardeners. After the first flurry of harvesting, tying back overgrown tomatoes and moving hoses about, observing life’s cycle from seed to flower to fruit then back to seed, and all the while conscious of my own aging body as it bends and complains within this bounteous space, another state emerges. My pragmatic self surrenders to a semi- conscious meditation on the essence of being. Through silent awareness and invisibility, the sounds and signals of earth- primordial, spiritual, supreme- reinforce the idea of Anattā, that Buddhist concept of non-being.

It begins with a chive flower waving in the gentle breeze, now taller than the blanketing pumpkin leaves, insisting on more light. The delicate white coriander flowers belie the true pungency of their leaves, roots and seeds. Things are not what they seem. Then a strange bird call punctures the silence. High pitched like a creaking table, the sound is urgent but not bleak. I look up and see a flash of yellow underneath a broad wing span of black. It’s the yellow -tailed black cockatoo, an infrequent visitor to these lightly wooded lands. Now one, now two more, followed by a train of rasping sound, they are on their way to a distant pine tree. Word is out that the nuts are ready to strip. The guard cocky stands alert, signalling from the highest branch, a two-dimensional black stencil, a wayang puppet, an inked picture outlined in the early morning sky.

The bluest of blue of the radicchio flower is a call to the bees. I can never find the word for this blue: constructs such as Cobalt or Persian or Cornflower might have to do. And the little gem of a beetle, friend or foe, travels across a furry field that is an eggplant leaf. The mauve and white bean flowers peep from the darkness of their leafy canopy, an arrangement, a posy, a boutoniere. The beans can wait.


21 thoughts on “Lost in the Garden”

  1. As so oft before you have made me stop amidst the practicalities of a busy day and think of different matters and then perchance not think at all . . . just be. Shall be honest and admit I have briefly managed to wander over to wiser texts to remind a selfish me the meaning of Anatta . . . not that even the wisest always agree . . . but surely here you left yourself and became one with the gentle beauty around you . . . the self became a background unnoticed . . . thank you for leaving the door open for us to enter . . . .

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    1. I’ve spent many a day on a bench listening to the Dalai Llama talking about these things for hours, and in the end, I forget and get on with my busy old life. But when I’m in the garden, early, it all comes back and I can hear that man ( who is now getting on and is too old to visit annually. I flirt with Buddhist ideas, they make more sense to me than religious ones. I am so pleased you could enter my ethereal space. This started as a conscious contrast to all that ugly noise out there that makes up our news, but I thought that it was better to leave that contrast unsaid. Thanks once again Eha, for supporting my writing.


    1. Oh thanks Louise. No I just hung out in the garden, and enjoyed the moments( an hour), then when I took the basket of goods back inside, I thought to take the camera back and snap a few shots, then I cam back and the piece wrote itself. Sometimes, these things just write themselves after a spiritual moment. ( as you would know, intrepid Nepalese trekker).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for bringing a bit of summer into our winter. The thought of tying back those tomatoes brought me fond memories of my past gardens and the smell of tomato on my hands, oh how fresh that is.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been gabbling away in response to your posts and my little thoughts disappear into the ether. So I’m giving the big kahuna a try i.e. my work computer. I’d no idea that radicchio flowers were so beautiful. Gardens are very good for the soul aren’t they.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always treasure your comments Jan so glad you fired up the big kahuna. I look forward every year to the radicchio flowers. .. reckon its worth growing just for this anazing colour and rhe bees are happy about it too.


  4. Signora, speaking of gardens, thanks for the great tip on Yalca. The Marito and I were pouring over their website last night and will definitely be getting a few things, the little dwarf fruit trees will be adorable in the courtyard. And so excited that they have mulberries! Grazie mille.


    1. That’s great cara. They run out early so order now. I am putting another order in too…. can’t resist. The beautiful thing about the dwarf trees is they can be netted easily. We have them in long rows… two metre or so high and long nets go on in early summer. Theiy are the best trees we have bought and great old varieties too.


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