This morning’s tears were based in humility of bearing witness, they came as my girlfriend and neighbor Kanika stood in the garden of my creation a little before 10AM – a silly thing to be moved to gulping tears about, really.
“Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
1 Chronicles 4:10
I was already in a place of gratitude because Kanika, an accomplished actress in India prior to marrying and moving to the United States, has exquisitely beautiful hands and she hates having them in dirt, touching worms and insects yet she had just powered through two hours of helping me to finish clearing a new bed. Together we broke up the sod, dug down 10 inches, shoveled the dirt into a 2×4 frame with ¼” wire and then sifted and culled the debris and rocks, over and over and over again. Then we filled feedbags from my girlfriend Amy’s horses with this dirt and hauled these through our lobby and into “the secret garden” I have created over the last six growing seasons. I was already in a state of awareness having found a scant 8 worms in this soil and moving them to the reclaimed dirt now with gallons and gallons of worm food to which peat moss had been added at a 50/50 ratio, and soon they would have more organic nutrients and plants and the tiny eco-system of the garden bed would be even ‘happier’.
My garden, I suppose like every gardeners’, is part ashram, gymnasium, temple and, I admit, largely an activity I throw myself into to the point of physical anguish to connect with the Divine, to find answers in the accompanying pain, to work through complexity in the simplicity much as religious zealots have been flagellates for thousands of years – in truth it is hard to ask for help when I need it, and often the path to realization must be solitary. I ached the good ache from working with my hands and body to create, in tandem with intellect, determination and patience, a place of refuge and beauty that brings pleasure.
I was already in a place of gratitude for the blessing of the first of my Oriental red poppies opening from the bud it was yesterday into the exquisite crimson silk fluttering bloom in the morning air discovered at 7:10 AM, the combination of the lush purple-ness of the two different Columbine, the Flag Iris and the German Iris and the heady scent of lavender and Russian sage in combination was equal to being in bathed in the light streaming through a cathedral’s stained glass windows and the intoxication to be found in the swinging of a censer burning incense of a high service.
The air tends to lift before dawn, so I had been awake since 4AM and as it caresses my face like a lover’s kiss I can’t help but wish to respond fully – awake and alive, bristling with the anticipation of creating something from the blessing of a new day even before most people consider it ‘day’.
I had felt all the sunshine pouring into me with the taste of the sour and the sweet of lemonade I had peeled zest from and squeezed out of lemons the night before.
And so, to the tears.
Last year I captured a picture of a robin frolicking in the birdbath that I was given by the executor of a estate sale I had attended. She was back this year with her offspring and over the course of the last four weeks she has used my little garden as ‘easy pickings’ for teaching her babies how to gather worms.
This morning one of her babies who has been keeping me company in my state of quietude the last few weeks joined Kanika and I as we contemplated the next efforts. The baby robin, no longer shy at my presence or voice, felt sufficiently safe to do as his/her mom had last summer and bathe with our standing in proximity. And as the water drops picked up the sunlight and the feathers ruffled in and out of the water and Kanika and I stood there and took joy from ‘being present’ I welled up and cried.
A sanctuary of safety in which to be fully alive. To be part of the infinite and endless, to exist in harmony and to be aware of the scope of the blessing to have been able to create with your own hands and every fiber of one’s being. The mandate of leaving one tiny piece of the world a little more beautiful so complete in this effort, in “fullness of being” and with the sure knowledge that I possess “all that I need”. To know such grace is beyond humbling – there is no word adequate to describe what I felt watching a second generation of common robin feel at home.
Oh such tears as these I welcome as frequently as my heart has the capacity to shed. Namaste.
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