I don't have a thriving garden (we live in a flat, and I don't seem to have the time even to look after a herb window box) but I hope to have one someday. (When I was 25 I wanted to write a great novel. I haven't. When I was 35 I wanted to write and direct a moving and meaningful feature film by the time I reached 40. I didn't. Now that I'm 45 I hope to have a hectare or two to farm by the time I'm 50...)
There is something enormously therapeutic about gardening and growing your own food, especially when you don't have to, i.e. when your livelihood and survival are not dependent on a crop yield. And there is also something appealing about eventually turning a hobby into a second, substantial, income stream, perhaps by having a garden where I can grow niche organic vegetables, flowers, or herbs.
Growing vegetables in a non industrial way has always seemed to me a very "pure" occupation, one that causes little suffering and can bring life to both producer and consumer. Like the potter, the dedicated teacher, the craftperson who pours themselves into their work, the doctor who aims to consider the entire patient, growing vegetables can really become love in action. Perhaps I romanticise them, but it seems to me that working with plants, gardens and gardening can have a redemptive effect, making the burden of though and memory lighter, like a mikva does. I hope one day to merit this....
In the meantime I look at photographs of gardens and get filled with a yearning to be earning my living in ways other than I do now that threatens to explode my chest... not tha teaching isn't a form of gardening, but as of yet my fingers don't seem to be so green at it
You can watch a soothing programme on gardening every Sunday and visit its website now
that the idea of a garden
and all that it represents
takes root and flowers
in my Self and those who surround me
ken ratzon yehe
Hallevai = if only
ken ratzon yehe = may it be the will of That which determines the way things are
Chapter 2: Lessons from lettuce (to be continued, G?d willing)