2012 July 4 Being Here Now in Summer Garden

2012 July 4 Being Here Now

Sometimes my experience of the beauty in the garden is so intense it is painful.  I will explore some reasons for the pain.

“Be Here Now” was the title of a book by Ram Dass in the 1970’s, and an ongoing theme of learning in our lives. “Be here now” is essentially the goal of meditation methods I’ve learned. I believe that being totally in the present moment is essential for health and healing.  Some of the pain of the beauty of the garden, I am coming to think, is about ways in which we allow ourselves to NOT be here fully present to the moment.

This summer I have been attempting to advance my skills and awareness at “being here now” by focusing on nature. Very dominant in the past two weeks has been the record-breaking heat. I spend some time each day outdoors when it is really hot. Feel the heat. Empathize with the trees and plants and insects and wildlife.

“Being here now” in the garden includes observing bees and butterflies pollinating the flowers that are blooming now — beebalm (monarda), daylillies, echinacea, butterfly weed, and many others. Hearing the buzz of the bees. Feeling the heat on one’s damp skin. Seeing the intensity of the sunlight on and around the bright colors.

So often in the garden my mind goes immediately to tasks to be done there: clumps to be divided and moved to other locations in autumn; plants that MUST be watered; places where autumn-flowering plants would be nice to add; unknown species to research and label; tall stalks bending over that would benefit from staking; a path to put wood chips on. But “being here now” discipline in the garden allows those to-do thoughts to just rise, be noted, and float away so that the awareness can return to here now.

I think part of the pain in the glory of the garden is about the fear of loss.  Each day in the garden is ephemeral.  Each blossom will be lost in a day or two.  The heat will dry up the lillies in a snap.

Native honeysuckle

native honeysuckle

Sometimes my inclination in the garden, like when it’s 95 degrees outside, is to worry about the effects of the heat and drought on the soil and the plants and then wander into climate change and what I should be doing more to help people cope with it or change with it. Then wander to wanting more people to be in nature so they can feel and experience what we are doing to the planet with our human-dominating strategies.

Some of the pain of the beauty of the garden is in wanting everyone to have opportunity to share this.  It is so important to me to share the experience of the garden with others, whether they are near and dear or simply passers by (of which we have almost none!)  I have friends who are expert gardeners, and friends for whom it is “too hot” to stroll the garden.  I strongly encourage all to experience some of the garden.

Carol and me in the garden on June 16

2 comments to 2012 July 4 Being Here Now in Summer Garden

  • Bev, you have so much to teach us all regarding “being here now”! You are my role model!

    Although I know you will not “be here then”, you’ll be in France (my dream of a lifetime!), I’m posting the link to our webpage about the Sperryville Oneness Meditation my husband and I are hosting on Saturday, July 28, from Noon to 1:30 PM for your blog friends to consider: http://omsperryvillevirginia.eventbrite.com/ They will find 2 videos via this link to our online registration site that will explain the Oneness Meditation much better than I can. As you know, it is not connected to any religion, and nothing is required of participants except to relax, open their hearts, and gaze into the eyes of the Oneness Meditator. It’s a sacred, sometimes grateful experience, open to all, and it is free. (We will gratefully accept love donations at the door to defray expenses.) We really hope some of you in the area will join us. We know you will find it rewarding.

    Bev and Hal, and Sylvie, enjoy your “tour de France”. We’ll be watching on TV to see you at the Champs Elysee awards ceremony for the race. Safe and fun traveling. Hope this afternoon’s storms don’t delay your departure! We filled the tub with water just in case we lost power again.


  • Thank you, Beverly., for the thoughts and the photos. Such a good reminder to be here and now. I must confess to sometime hiding inside in the middle of the day when it is so hot, and – when out in the mornings & evening – thinking indeed, or doing, garden chores. I have a difficult time to let my mind wander then. So much easier in the spring and the fall. In the fall, the garden is especially poignant and it gest to me. Summer too often is just a time to endure….

    See you in a few days

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