When a friend of mine loaned me a book about gardening at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, I thought it would be interesting. I had no idea I would fall in love with it nor that it would spark such a fiery curiosity in me.
Let me be clear: I am no gardener. I have killed more plants than I’d like to admit. I’ve killed rosemary (rosemary) and even succulents (!). And although I grew up in the country, the wheat fields next to our house were tended by farmers who knew what they were doing. I had no clue (or interest).
But something has been gently shifting in me. I look at soil differently. I hug trees (my mom laughed recently as I hugged the three large cottonwoods in her backyard - which I affectionately refer to as The Three Sisters). I have successfully brought back to life an Autumn Joy, a Japanese Anemone and a small palm after nearly killing them out of sheer ignorance.
When it comes to plants and trees, I am like a child again. Wide-eyed and in awe of the growth around me that I’ve known so little about.
One of my fondest memories of the past year was planting a small tree in the rain back in April. I was feeling quiet and somber and digging my hands into the dirt felt satisfyingly gritty and nourishing. Far from separating me from earthly things (as some might mistakenly assume), my meditation practice seems to have flung me head (& hands & heart) first into the ground. In a very good way.
Some of my favorite things from 2016:
Favorite music: Novo Amour, Austin Basham, Odesza
Favorite song: Novo Amour - Anchor
Favorite video: The Chemical Brothers - Wide Open (feat Beck)
Favorite movie: Arrival
Favorite nonprofits: New York Peace Institute and YES Nature to Neighborhoods
Favorite book (memoir): Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
Favorite nonfiction book: Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate by Wendy Johnson
What I'm listening to right now: DJ Shadow ft. Run The Jewels - Nobody Speak (be warned - this may press and offend your political buttons, but the very last scene...priceless. And pretty much sums up how I feel about this election year.)