Gardening is one of my greatest loves. The rhythm of the earth revealed in this little piece of Eden in sunny Queensland Australia, pulses in the cells of my being. Through close observation of the natural cycle of all life in my garden and atuning into the greater cosmological ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes I have come to know intimately not only this ‘outer’ space, but the inner as well.
Imagery and metaphor are effective tools for personal growth and transformation and the metaphor of gardening is a powerful way of looking at and experiencing the process of inner growth. I only need to look to my garden to see what needs tending, weeding, pruning, tilling, feeding, harvesting and composting in my life.
Observing my garden I see a clear reflection of where I have been and where I am in life presently. There is much death and shedding. The large herb and vegetable beds are growing wild and untended and are over run with weeds. About the only thing standing in the vegetable patch is a dead sweet Basil bush. I am too scared to go into the greenhouse because the weeds are so tall and there’s probably lots of spiders. The olive and mandarin tree after not receiving any attention or green thumb love, finally gave in.
It is unlike me to have so much decay in the garden coming into Spring. I am usually harvesting the last of Winter’s abundance. In this sub-tropical climate we are able to grow all year round. But this year so far has been different. I let the garden totally recede this past winter. I only planted a few things and just let it all set seed and die. I have weeded and tilled a few times, the chooks have been in there scratching and fertilizing, over-eating the comfrey and the few clumps of broccoli that had finally decided to look alive.
Despite all the over growth and untended parts though, I look out at this emerald view and I am stunned by beauty. Poinciana’s are shedding aged yellowing leaves in readiness for a burst of vibrant summer flames. And the Jacaranda, a sign Spring has well and truly arrived, buds with lilac life that will eventually leave lush dreamy carpets of colour on the roadsides. The grape leaves are unfurling with ease and the pomegranates are with leaf again. The mango trees are in flower and soon there will be mulberries.
The garden is a great teacher. It constantly embodies the idea of letting go of what has been in order to allow what will be. It is a reminder of the natural cycle of life that ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes. It shows us that there is beauty and life in death. How you look after the physical garden, what kind of garden you have, your relationship to your garden or to your natural surroundings is a reflection of your inner self.
What needs tending in your garden right now? What is dying and what is being born? What needs pruning or composting? What weeds are growing in your garden right now and how could they be used as medicine?
My garden is a bit wild and untamed, and for this past season largely untended. It just is.
But it’s time. With a wobble and crack, new life emerges.
I am returning.
The following painting of Persephone, Greek Queen of the Underworld is captured here on the moment of return to her mother Demeter in the upper world.
The story of Persephone is powerful and so relevant to women today. When tuning into Her I received a message of balance. Balance between the conscious and the unconscious, the light and the dark, work and play, nothing and everything. How can I seek more balance in all areas of my life – physically, spiritually,emotionally and mentally?
Tend to the garden.
“Life’s a garden…dig it.” (Joe Dirt)
Jassy Watson, who lives on the sub-tropical coast of Queensland Australia, is a Mother of four, passionate organic gardener, Intuitive/Visionary Artist, Teacher, Intentional Creativity Coach and a student of Ancient History and Religion at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is the Creatress of Goddesses Garden, Studio & Gallery; a school for the Sacred Creative Arts. Jassy teaches regular painting workshops in person, nationally, internationally, and online based around themes that explore myth, history, earth connection and the Goddess. Inspired by Carol Christ’s Goddess Pilgrimage to Crete, Jassy’s next painting adventure is in Greece!