Tending the garden has been a part of monastic training for as long as I've been practicing at the Monastery. I've been patiently shown how to prune a sage bush, mix potting soil, transplant seedlings, nourish soil with organic fertilizer and compost, even cut rebar to build garden paths. And of course, weed! Without realizing it at the time, I have been trained in numerous gardening skills concurrently with training to be present. I recently enjoyed the experience of all this training paying off in a very practical way.
On a Sunday morning a few weeks ago, a torrential rainstorm passed over the Monastery. Strong winds blew down the deer deterrents around some salvia, marigolds, and our beloved Rhea Rose. We were fairly confident that if they weren't repaired soon, the deer would find them and cause harm to the plants. So in the spirit of, "there is no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing," I donned my rain gear and went to work.
As we say in Practice: insight needs experience. Thanks to my working meditation experiences in the garden, Life was able to guide me step-by-step in reconstructing and securing the wire cages that would discourage the deer while giving the plants ample space and access to sun and water. Life even dropped in where to find each of the needed materials at the moment they were needed. It was a joyous experience of being guided, being of service, and being in Love.
As we begin our new adventure in stewarding the land in Sequim, Washington, there is the realization of being so perfectly lived and so perfectly prepared for everything that unfolds in life. There is also a deep reverence for and resonance with the words of St. Julian of Norwich, "All is well; all will be well. In all manner of things, it is well."