Being There: Lessons from the Garden

All you need is deep within you waiting to unfold and reveal itself. All you have to do is be still and take time to seek for what is within, and you will surely find it.
--Eileen Caddy

Thirty years ago, Eileen and Peter Caddy, their three sons, and their friend Dorothy Maclean followed an inner spiritual directive to move to an area on the northernmost coast of Scotland. There, beside a garbage dump bordered by sand dunes, they created a garden following only spiritual guidance. Through prayer and meditation, Eileen and Dorothy contacted the spiritual essence, or "deva" of every plant species, which Dorothy described as "angels, great Beings whose lives infuse and create all of Nature." Each plant imparted spiritual direction of what it needed to flourish despite the wretched circumstances. Within a few years, The Findhorn Community, as their settlement was known, became internationally famous for growing an abundance of large plants, vegetables, fruits, and herbs in the worst possible conditions - a spiritual manifestation of an oasis in the center of a wasteland. "Expect your every need to be met, expect the answer to every problem, expect abundance on every level, expect to grow spiritually," Eileen Caddy tells me as I turn over the earth, sow, weed, water and wait. These are lessons she learned in her garden. Lessons I long to learn.

Study the cycles of Mother Nature, the garden whispers, for they correspond with the cycles of your soul's growth. Quiet your mind. Rope in the restlessness. Be here. Learn to labor. Learn to wait. Learn to wait expectantly.

Another important lesson the garden teaches is sowing and reaping, as well as seedtime and harvest. Whatever you sow, you will reap. If I plant lettuce, I will not harvest tomatoes. If I sow only positive seeds in my subconscious - thoughts of plenty and not of lack - abundance will sprout in the garden. As for seedtime and harvest, be forewarned. The spiritual time continuum is not the same as time experienced on the earthly plane. A year for us is a second in the spiritual dimension. This explains why an artist who has toiled for twenty years suddenly becomes an overnight success. I have learned this the hard way. By sowing and waiting. Then waiting some more. This doesn't mean that the seeds have fallen on stony ground. I refuse to believe this, for I have worked the soil, dug the double ditch, added the compost, peat, sand, and lime. The soil is rich. Some crops - raspberries, asparagus, grapes - require an investment of years before there is a harvest. If my harvest is to be a simply abundant lifestyle rooted not in the world but in Spirit, I must be patient.

"You are not living by human laws but by divine laws," Eileen Caddy reminds us. "Expect miracles and see them take place. Hold ever before you the thought of prosperity and abundance, and know that doing so sets in motion forces that will bring it into being."

-Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance - A Daybook of Comfort and Joy©1995

The fields are harvested and bare,
And winter whistles through the square.
October dresses in flame and gold
Like a woman afraid of growing old.
--Anne Mary Lawler

This is a time of year that some people dread. They know and feel that winter is coming. The days become shorter, the darkness grows longer. We have passed the equinox this month, and it is beginning to be noticeable. I now go to work just as the sun rises, and it is blazing straight into my line of vision as I travel west to return home. Things all around us in nature seem to be dying, and for some of us that can be a reminder of our own mortality.

As the trees surrender their leaves, knowing that they will return in the spring, so should we learn to surrender to what our Plan has in store for us. Accepting and surrendering is not a tidy package. Often it is done with hard feelings - anger, rage, and sadness followed by release and relief. As we go through this process, we often become angry at God, frustrated with other people, at ourselves, at life. Getting to the core of that pain and emotion and getting it out will help us to release it at the deepest level and then to heal.

Surrendering allows us to move forward. It allows is to be confident that the future will be what it will be, whether we think about it or not. Knowing that there is a Plan, we understand that we are somehow protected and guided. Trust in the rightness of timing and understand that as you struggle through the human experience you can feel what you feel and move on from there. What is happening is not the end, but only the means. Spring will come, the sun will shine and all will be well. Know this as Nature knows it, and you will be content to surrender.



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