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Gardening in the Dark June 19, 2012

Filed under: Gardening,Gratitude — explorergarden @ 5:55 am

Gardening in the Dark

For Maritza and Eric


We are  gardening in the dark,

Sinking our shovels into dirt

we can barely see, sinking

our feet into loam littered with the detritus

of winter gardens gone

to seed, lifted

Shovel by shovel into the night wind,

seeds scattering, roots ripped,

turning, turning

the soil over

On itself,

Turning over.


We are gardening in the dark,

Taking out what once was

And getting it ready

for we don’t know what

will grow, trusting something

will flourish

When the  sun rises again.


Note:  The ancient Greeks said that humans could not look upon the true face of a god without being destroyed. Sometimes  it seems like that’s true when God reveals  such a powerful, incomprehensible nature — death, suffering, even  beauty — that I’m struck dumb, small and helpless. The refrain that goes through my head is, “I don’t understand.” Many things have been this difficult face of God for me.  September 11, 2001, the wildfires of 2005, the deaths of people I love, losses. All I can do at those times is FEEL — and sink my hands into the earth, and  garden.

I began gardening when my mother died. I gardened on 9/11 and the weeks that followed. I gardened through my worst loss of all. And tonight I gardened in the dark, in the company of a rogue raccoon who sat in my apricot tree and ate all my favorite fruit. I gardened to to reconnect with the earth, in honor my friend Maritza, an amazing gardener and kind friend, who has suffered long and hard, and in honor of her husband Eric, who has supported her  all the way to the end.





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