It’s a cold, sunshiny day. The garden is holding its breath for the first sign of spring. Gardening is intimate work. There’s nothing superficial about it!

To see, smell, taste, and hear the fruits therein, I must dig deep and nourish the soil. I and my garden, we spend time together observing, inhaling, savoring, and listening to each other in anticipation. It’s a two-way street.

My point is that the more intensely I know my garden, and the more intensely I facilitate its needs, the more intimate we become. At a glance, I know what each plant desires. With one deep breath, I smell the fecund, nourished soil. After one juicy, tasty bite of its harvest, I’m overcome with awe. On its buzzing, humming blooms, I hear its heartbeat.

When I’m engrossed in its totality, its hard to see it as just a pretty place. I’m gazing at it beyond its pleasantness. I’m not limiting myself to absorbing it from my porch swing.

Instead, I’m one with my garden as it overwhelms me with its life-giving essence. I can’t help but say, “thank you,” to its creator. My jagged breaths are steadied, calmed, and retored in my garden. I’m all in, all one, all encompassed.

Are your senses in tune as in one breath with the Divine’s?

Lord make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.

Where there is despair, hope.

Where there is darkness, light.

Where there is sadness joy.

O Divine master, grant that I may

Not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

To be understood, as to understand;

To be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving, that we receive.

And it is in pardoning, that we are pardoned.

And it is in dying, that we are born

To eternal life.

St. Francis' Prayer

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