“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
― Anaïs Nin
As the end of summer draws near, we relish even more the lush, overgrown clusters of nature that make up our parks, neighborhoods, streets, and gardens. If we take Burnett’s advice, we begin to see the world for what it actually is: a seasonal ebb and flow of prospering and retreating. Gardens guide our attention to the cyclic force of becoming and dying . They are a symbol of impermanence, of endless transitions, states, colors, flavors, and forms. Think of a tomato plant: starting as a seed, beginning to grow its leaves, producing a flower, blooming into a tomato, and eventually ripening to its fullest expression. Anais Nin wrote, “Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” I was inspired to write this post when I came across a picture my friend took of me at our guest house in Nepal. I can remember sitting in the garden that morning experiencing a sense of timelessness; as if the moment was just lingering in space, with nowhere to be and nowhere to go. Everything was still, quiet, happy just to be in a state of becoming. When I am overwhelmed by the pace of life and wish to remain in a moment – or wish for time to give us more time, I think back to that morning in the garden and remember that even feelings of apparent repose and bliss are fleeting. And, the best thing is, the next one will be around again soon.
Photo taken by Jeanne Bissmeyer in Kathmandu, Nepal