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In the Magical Paper Maché Garden, now on exhibit at the Fletcher Free Library, we find the enjoyment of color, texture, and lots of joyous energy. It was my privilege to guide this class in creating this garden, and my pleasure to celebrate with them, in their garden.

On the last day of class the students entered the exhibit room together, with some guests. We had arranged all the sculptures in a grouping that made up the Magical Garden and I had birdsongs playing in the background.  The students got to really experience all their energy coming together in this one big colorful display. I was happy to experience my students’ pleasure at seeing all of their sculptures, arranged as a true garden.

We have received wonderful feedback and appreciation for this lovely art. I am pleased and proud to have been a guide, knowing that my students are showing the world that having a disability doesn’t mean limitations on creativity.

This exhibit continues through the end of June.

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Rain GardenHere in Vermont and much of New England it’s wet, wet, wet.  We’re doing a bit of grumbling about that.  Our usual sunny, hot and humid days have eluded us this year and according to the National Weather Service, our prospects are not optimistic.

 

When I began my In the Garden with Mother Earth workshops three years ago, the weather was great for each event.  I and my workshop participants were truly blessed.  But last summer….  not so much.  July was a complete wash out, much like this year is looking.

 

So this year as I planned the events I decided that rain or shine, we would proceed.  After all, the Earth is still growing and thriving out there.  This may put some people off who assume we’ll be strolling through a misty, rainy garden, peering at plants and hugging the trees.

 

As I’ve walked around my condo development’s gardens, which are lovingly tended by a retired teacher, I notice that things are growing.  The flowers are thriving, and even the veggies seem to be having their time.

 

Our local CSA, the Burlington Intervale Community Farm is producing luscious greens, herbs, veggies and flowers.  I’m feeling quite blessed by the Farm’s abundance that I get to share with my friends.  So things are really happening outside.

 

Okay, so we have the choice to mope around and complain about the weather.  We can let it get us down and keep us inside being couch potatoes, which I admit to doing a bit of.  Or we can, as the old song goes, tiptoe through the tulips and between the raindrops to see what’s going on in nature.

 

Believe me, I’m not such a nature-girl that I’m ready to run around in the pouring rain, nor do I want to be out when it’s thundering and lightning.  I don’t believe in courting danger.  Us Taurians like our comforts.  But I have enjoyed a walk in the gentle rain shower.  Recently I went out for a walk with my dog when it was simultaneously sprinkling and sunshiny all through our time outside.  I was sure that it would eventually do one or the other, but the weather is a fickle being.

 

The birds are singing and carrying on outside.  The flowers are lush and happy, the trees seem to be holding their own with the wet, and everything is making its way through the advent of so much rain.  Nature deals with those events, without the luxury of complaining.  The trees don’t squawk at Mother Earth about the lack of sunshine.  The flowers don’t shake their fists at the skies in frustration.  It’s just us human beings that go on, as if we have the right to expect our Earth to behave the way we want her to.  Never mind that our current weather patterns might just be our own doing in the climate changes we are perpetrating upon the being that is our own Mother Earth.

 

So when we can’t go to the beach because of the stormy weather, let’s take notice that all the other beings upon the planet are dealing with it.  The non-human beings just simply cope, adjust and deal.  We could take note of that for ourselves.  For myself, I will carry on, go out when I can and meditate on those areas of the world that are too dry.  Perhaps if we could meditate on sharing some of the excess water here with those who need it elsewhere, it would take our focus off the negative and help us be more mindful of the bigger, global picture.

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From time to time I’ll be writing about my “In the Garden with Mother Earth” workshops because lots of insight and inspiration gets generated from these wonderful events.  And these workshops are really fun.  Let me first describe what these are and how it all began.

 

Two years ago in early spring (which is still winter in Vermont and not yet mud season) I was inspired, led or directed to develop and facilitate these workshops.  At the time I got this fascinating message, I was sitting in a sound healing workshop, working within a deep meditative process.

 

Now, I had been channeling and working with Mother earth for seven years prior to this.  So I’m used to getting inspiration from Her, but this was a surprise.  It was a surprise both because of where and when it came through to me, and because it was so clear and specific.  What else could I do but try to discretely pull out the laptop and take notes?  As the workshop took place over a two day period, I had to wait to tackle the tasks of hashing out details.  However, once I sat down to do the planning, it simply flowed and I connected with my first host that same morning.

 

The purpose of these events is to help people become connected to their backyard spaces on a spiritual and energetic level.  I developed a list of tools and exercises that I would demonstrate and it was clear that offering to do channeling with each group would be a big part of these events.  It seemed that I needed to find gardeners who wanted to share their garden spaces with others, while exploring the spirit and energy of their space.  I put out the call to people and by the end of that week I had booked eleven workshops for the summer. 

 

Vermont has a shorter growing season, although I’m sorry to say that it’s seeming a little longer now due to climate changes and global warming.  But in any case winter happens.  So we have a short season here and we are usually very enthusiastic about getting outside to enjoy it, because we know what is coming.

 

Over the last two summers I’ve had the privilege of traveling from one end of Vermont to another to wander lovely garden spaces.  We have meandered through plots and beds, indulging the senses by smelling, touching, admiring and sometimes tasting the plants and flowers.  We’ve worked with the energy of each place, blessing and giving thanks to the land, and where appropriate, lending some healing to the spirits that dwell there.

 

I have to say that this is some of my most favorite work, and I love all of my work.  It’s great fun to teach people that their gardens contain actual live beings, plant and tree divas, gnomes and fairies.  In turn we have been blessed by the tree divas and nature spirits in each place I’ve visited.  I’ve also discovered that each garden space reflects very accurately the lives of the human beings who dwell upon that space.  A great lesson to pay attention to what your garden is trying to tell you.

 

I find people who garden to be  joyous in their pursuit of color, texture, and artful arrangement of plants.  Folks seem to immerse themselves enthusiastically in the preparation and planting, diligently dealing with pests and weeds, nourishing these gardens like their own children.  But sometimes we can be myopic  when it comes to listening to the actual spirits of the land.

 

The following is one of the first stories from one of the first workshops I led 2 years ago.  Throughout the summer I’ll add various tidbits from “In The Garden.”  For now, here is a story from a lovely tree friend.

 

The Blessing of the Willow Tree

June 2, 2007, Ferrisburg, VT

As I reached for the Willow tree to ask its permission to connect with it, I felt a definite solid masculine presence.  He welcomed me and shared with us that it was good for humans to have roots in the Earth.  I stood with my back lined up against his massive trunk, instructing the participants on how to connect with the tree spirits. 

Willow

Willow was a strong grounded energy for aligning us to the Earth and was welcoming in our quest to connect with him.  He indicated that as Willow, he is one with all of the Willow tree beings and all trees.  In the plant, tree, stone, and animal kingdoms they have no separate names, because these beings recognize their connection with everything around them. 

 

All of the participants took a turn lining their backs to the Willow and with closed eyes they each opened to his energy.  All of them found it a grounding and relaxing experience.  Willow interacted willingly with all of us.  Then we stood in a semi-circle around this magical tree and extended our right hands to touch its trunk.  Calling upon our connection with the White Light Source, I directed us to send White Light through our heart chakra and down the right arm through the hand to the tree.  We focused on the intention of sending love, gratitude and appreciation to this Willow being.

 

After several long minutes, I withdrew my hand and felt the Willow send a message of peace to us all.  This was a warm, sunny day with no breezes whatsoever.  We all turned and began walking away, only to feel a cooling breeze come up and a showering of Willow leaves and tiny raindrops follow us in the hot afternoon sunlight.  The blessing we sent was being returned to us three fold.

 

A note from Celtic Tree lore: Willow is a tree of emotion, love, intuition, and poetic inspiration.

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