And every stone and every star a tongue,
And every gale of wind a curious song.
The Heavens were an oracle, and spoke
Divinity: the Earth did undertake
The office of a priest; and I being dumb
(Nothing besides was dumb) all things did come
With voices and instructions…
— Thomas Traherne (1637-1674)
Gardening is one of the oldest activities of civilization, and one of the most pleasurable ones. It is a way that we can connect with Nature, bringing a sense of well being, if only because it is impossible to ignore the fact that when we sow our seeds, we are sowing hope, as well.
However, it is so much more. When done with awareness, gardening becomes a powerfully magical activity. While gardens are a human construct, they are, by necessity, dependent on the cooperation of Mother Nature. For those of us who are energetically awake, this co-creation with Nature can become an act of devotion and spiritual practice.
If you open your awareness while working with the soil, the plants, the weather, and the cycles of life, you may discover that you are connecting with sentient, intelligent energies. This is not romantic fantasy, for once you begin to encounter this level of interaction, you will quickly discover that the beings you are interacting with are not projections of your imagination, since very often their ideas and preferences run quite counter to your own.
In her classic work, Behaving As If the God in All Life Mattered, Machaelle Small Wright describes her own amazing journey into the collaborative process with Nature and the spirits of Life. That journey resulted in the famous garden at Perelandra, which has become a research center for co-creative science.
She defines co-creative science in this way:
Machaelle began this process when she was contacted by the Nature spirits of her newly purchased homestead in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. Although she and her husband were at first understandably concerned she might be having a psychotic experience, she decided to heed the voices and energies that were making their wishes known to her. With their guidance, the result was a miraculously successful garden. It succeeded despite her own limited knowledge of gardening, and the instructions she received often ran completely counter to conventional scientific wisdom.
That garden is, today, a powerful center for healing and discovery. But it is not the only such place. Tomorrow, I’ll write about some of the other research and connections being made with Nature intelligences.