The Garden is nature, the place from which western
civilization was expelled according to Christian, Judaic and Islamic ancient writings. Of course this is a generalization and an exaggeration. But the core of the statement, metaphorically, and thus culturally, is substantially true. I and my ancestors accepted this place outside the Garden. The Garden became dangerous and foreboding before I was ever conceived. I learned quickly that I must fight nature and dominate her. My mythology told me that I was separate from her and not intrinsically a part of her.
It seems to me that to find stillness I must reunite with Nature. I would like to think that my personal love of the natural world and the peace nature gives me causes me to stand out from others. But it appears to me that most all of us, including me, long to be in or on the brink of her wild beauty. Reuniting with nature, for me, also means I must inherently understand that I live on a planet that is unique in the Solar System and perhaps the galaxy. I am furiously speeding around the sun, and with the solar system, around the Galaxy and with the Galaxy, I am going rapidly somewhere. Our little blue planet has a fragile atmosphere that supports life and Nature supports the atmosphere and I am merely a product of both which are products of the stars.
There is another garden and that is the garden of my soul, still fertile I hope, and awaiting my attention.
To me nature harbors stillness
but not quietness. As I walk in nature's domain
all my senses become alert.
Her scents are endless and
my body tingles from the touch of a breeze or from
the sun's warmth on my neck, or the chill from an instant shower.
And the sounds
of bird songs, insects noisily fulfilling their fate, rivers rushing and falling, brooks mumbling and the sudden gusts of wind whipping against my ears mesmerize me.
Wild berries sweet on my tongue,
quenching, ice cold spring water down my throat
and the visual feast of textures and colors, long vistas and close up tiny details of life's comings and goings
make me crazy with saturation.
My senses overload and my mind,
my thoughts are crowded out
left lying on the garden floor.
I physically expand and
know I can fly over the canyon
like the hawk
and even as I walk
stillness stalks me.