Winter garden

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ALANDA GREENE lives in British Columbia in Canada, where the winters bring darkness and a quilt of snow over the garden. It’s a time of inward rejuvenation and recharging. How does that affect our own inner cycles of busy-ness and stillness?


LESSONS FROM THE GARDEN


I’m working at the kitchen table these days instead of upstairs at my desk. It’s winter and the house is cold, especially where I usually write. This is my version of a seasonal migration, a tiny replica of the cyclic nomadic journeys that the indigenous peoples of the plains made. When winter’s freezing temperatures, wind, snow and ice conspired, they moved to a location that gave shelter from these forces. It just makes sense, both out on the prairie and here in the house. The indigenous peoples moved closer to forested hillsides, out of the wind and with fuel nearby. I move to the warmth of the kitchen, as our firewood is gathered and stacked outside the door.

The garden is outside the window, covered in a thick quilt of white. I glance occasionally to it but feel no call to be there. During spring, summer and fall, I often tell myself a story: when the winter comes there will be so much more time for creative pursuits such as writing. Certainly the time I give to the garden in those other seasons is now available for other activities, but the anticipated expanded space where writing ideas burst forth is as absent as signs of growth outdoors.


During spring, summer and fall,
I often tell myself a story:
when the winter comes there will be so much more time
for creative pursuits such as writing.
Certainly the time I give to the garden
in those other seasons is now available for
other activities, but the anticipated expanded
space where writing ideas burst forth
is as absent as signs of growth outdoors.


There’s an outer cycle to seasons and there’s an inner cycle also. They tend to mirror each other, but I often don’t acknowledge that my own energy and creativity has seasonal fluctuations. Instead, I berate myself for not being more purposeful now that I have the time, not applying myself with more focus and diligence. I recognize self-accusations, such as “undisciplined, lacking focus, lazy, scattered.”

These accusations often function just under the surface, like all the things currently hidden by snow, so it requires listening and reflecting to catch the words that go with the feeling. They are old concepts, cultural and familial ideas that are as outworn as my old garden clogs. Unlike my clogs, they never did serve a useful purpose, but there’s a lingering suspicion …


Read the complete article in Volume 2, Issue 4

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Article by ALANDA GREENE


 

Alanda Greene

About Alanda Greene

Alanda Greene lives in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Having a deep connection with nature, she and her husband built their house of stone and timber and a terraced garden, and integrated their life into this rural community. Alanda’s primary focus is the conscious integration of spirit with all aspects of life.

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COLLECTOR'S EDITION 2016