I want desperately to be a green-thumbed person. My spiritual worldview is largely centered around connectedness to nature. The knowledge that I tend to kill plants makes me feel like some kind of unnatural menace. When someone gives me a plant as a gift, I smile but I’m thinking “No! For the love of God, don’t leave that defenseless living being with me!” I tell the story of the nice plant that I took with me to college. It spent the semester dying and then was brought back to life during the breaks when I brought it home where my mother took care of it. Ironically, I can seem psychic when around my cats, but I’m completely out of sync with plants.
Stories about gardening as a spiritual practice make me determined to give it another try. I plan to put plants around our new house. Not only do I want the pleasure of seeing them, but I know they are good for indoor air quality. I want to have plants around our deck that will attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Perhaps I will start with one indoor plant and try to work up from there. Now that I live near my mother, I will have her visit from time to time to check on the poor little things. Meanwhile I will try to focus on the spiritual practice aspect of garden with hope that in the process I will find myself transformed (or turned slightly greenish in hue). As Terry Hershey would say, I will open my heart to the rhythms of the garden.