Soul scraffiti…..

crop signsWhen I was a girl,
rake in hand,
I loved carving
roads and rooms and rhymes
into bare ground
with the art supplies
dropped by generous trees
(Autumn scraffiti!)Suddenly the sweet-smelling earth
that was my blank canvas
became personal and patterned
with mystery,
like crop signs appearing
with delicious secret meanings.

Then I spent hours playing in the nooks and crannies I’d created,
my imagination happily wallowing
in the newborn spaces.

There were stores to keep
and castles
and cottages in deep woods,
always with a corral for my horse
(my loyal bicycle with yellow banana seat).
I felt fully alive scratching out my art
through masses of fallen leaves.

Now, in the Autumn of my life,
I find myself outside and covered with soil and debris
much of the time.
When I’m not designing and building gardens
I’m doing “manicures” on bits of earth
grown tangled up, troubled and tightly pressed.

I’m thrilled when we’re hired by people
who’ve got a big mess
and feel overwhelmed
and can’t see the small bites.
I love the invitation to draw near to the chaos
and help put things right
…to come to their out of sorts places
and trim, prune, weed, shape and sort
until they’re singing again,
freeing both plants and their people
disentangled and calm.

I love it
….this sense that we’re carving oxygen and order
into spaces clogged with constriction.
I SO dig seeing living things come unfettered,
making room for beauty to stretch out cramped and achy legs
and make herself at home again.

Each time it feels as if,
deep down in my own overcrowded places,
there comes a release from more clutter
and I can see more clearly
Love reaching out to soothe and sort the tangles inside of me,
leaving carvings in my soul
like the paths and patterns
left by my childhood rake
so many Autumns ago.

Comments

  1. I enjoy your comparison of gardening and landscaping to the enrichment of the soul.

  2. rachel awes says

    i carve
    into this
    tangled fabulous
    earth ground
    we both stand on…
    flowers & stars
    & words that say
    love to jennifer.
    xox

  3. This reminds me of the hours spent playing in the woods under the trees carving out villages and farms …

    Your wording is so imaginative!

  4. Jen, the richness of your inner world comes pouring out, vibrating with life. I'm at a loss for words to express how deeply your writing affects me. First you whisk me away to remembered times when I did the same thing as you did creating worlds within worlds. Then you pull me into the present and make me feel, think…This goes into the book my friend.

  5. LindyLouMac says

    I love my garden as well. However I am unable to express myself so beautifully with words.

  6. Oh my goodness, I need YOU at my house! Just like you love to untangle the chaos outside among the left over dried plants and earth, something tells me you would be a great friend to sit and have a cup of tea with while helping a friend unload the heart's chaos too! YOU ARE SPECIAL FOR SURE JEN!!!!!

    ♥Lee Ann

  7. Oh my goodness, I need YOU at my house! Just like you love to untangle the chaos outside among the left over dried plants and earth, something tells me you would be a great friend to sit and have a cup of tea with while helping a friend unload the heart's chaos too! YOU ARE SPECIAL FOR SURE JEN!!!!!

    ♥Lee Ann

  8. Just Be Real says

    Very nice Jen. Also, thank you so much for your support and prayers dear one.

  9. I can just imagine you as a little girl playing in the dirt. I bet with your creative imagination you had wonderful adventures!

    Grace and peace

  10. Ok, how far are you willing to travel with your garden-fairy goodness? I know a girl who needs serious help in her backyard and definitely prefers landscapers who write beautiful poetry. Ok, fine. It's me. 🙂

  11. Ok, how far are you willing to travel with your garden-fairy goodness? I know a girl who needs serious help in her backyard and definitely prefers landscapers who write beautiful poetry. Ok, fine. It's me. 🙂

  12. Jennifer, This is just what I needed this morning and I wanted to thank you for it. Someone I love very much died early this morning and lots of people I love are hurting. Then, I got to school and the kids are pure NUTS! I was just having a bad, bad morning. But, here… just here…. you reminded me of why it is important to do what we love. And what I love is teaching. That line of thinking got me listing all the things I do love about my job. I thank you. And my students thank you. I need this. So much.

  13. You raise gardening and clearning out of weeds and debris to a sacred act – I think I will view it differently as I weed and yank and realize that I can tie that to a soul activity!

  14. My favorite girlhood memories involve rake, leaves, dirt and the "worlds" I would create to live in. It thrills me to know you enjoyed the same activity.

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