We have an agreement, the grasses and I. These deep rooted green “creatures” agree to hold the new soil where a few months ago a landslide scarred the earth and tried to scar my soul. I agree to water, feed and celebrate the grasses and their neighboring vetch and clover. We are in balance, nature and I.
I could have planted rows of showy flowers like I saw in magazines. I really wanted to. I was raised in Canada surrounded by fragrant, English-style flower gardens. As a child I walked to school nodding at dear old ladies with their trowels and smiles. I thought “one day I will have such a garden.”
But realistically, while a garden of flowers would delight my senses, I knew they would do nothing for this land when the rains returned. And yes, the rains would return. It is Oregon after all. I knew the earth needed deep rooted plants and grasses to heal and I needed to honor the agreements with nature.
This morning I wandered and sat in my garden of agreements. It seems a messy garden a first look, a tangle of green life dotted by wildflowers and a few leggy monster plants delighted by my care. I planted a few of them. Mostly they are volunteers, an endless delight of discovery for me.
Maybe delphiniums and hibiscus one day will join the garden. Not now.
The land needs time to heal and so do I. We both have been touched and changed by the unexpected – our old home burning down a decade ago and this year the landslide. Honoring my agreements with nature seems especially important now for it is together we can bring life back into balance.
I remember a friend telling me after her husband died that she craved peace. She had tried shopping therapy and drinking too much, temporary fixes that left her exhausted. It was in those moments when she was in balance with all that was around her, she said, that she found peace and beauty.
This morning as I walked through my garden I thought about her and many of you who have had losses over the last few years. Her story is not unusual. Peace, you have told me, is born out of being in balance with all that is around you.
I felt peace this morning as this wildflower greeted me. I had honored my agreements with nature. We were in balance and it was beautiful.