[When we are in safe sacred community] we are
invited to conform our lives to the shape of our own souls. In a circle of
trust, we can grow our selfhood like a plant–from the potential within the
seed of the soul, in ground made fertile by the quality of our relationships,
toward the light of our own wholeness, trusting the soul to know its own shape
better than any external authority possibly can.”
–Parker Palmer, from A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward an Undivided Life
I have great respect and admiration for people whose passion is in the soil, the plants, water and light and fertilizer. My fifteen year old friend Naftali is a passionate gardener, and a leader in his community and high school. Rachel, my oldest friend in the world, is writing a book about the spiritual practice of permaculture. One of my Courage facilitator colleagues can sermonize about the joy of growing garlic; her garden is her sanctuary. In fact, she is leading a Circle of Trust retreat focused on gardening.
Confession: I am awestruck but clueless.
When I read the quote above from Parker Palmer, here's what comes to mind (hint: not gardening): a very tender childhood memory of sprouting a lima bean and watching the sprout emerge from the cotyledon. I was mesmerized and delighted. It was nothing short of magic. Parker Palmer's words remind me of that childhood image of the shoot pushing through, on its own time, growth emerging from the core.
"Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it & whispers, "grow, grow."
How do you tend the garden of your own life? Who is whispering words of encouragement in your ear? What seeds of new growth are sprouting inside you right now?