Tag Archive: nature


Don’t think for a moment that the plants don’t have the ability to communicate with you! Sometimes to share wisdom and sometimes to tell you off when need be! This really happened to me..

The Greening Spirit

Plantspeak

In various herbal conferences I have attended, I was always intrigued when certain teachers and indigenous speakers would make references to hearing the plants sing, or receiving messages from them about how to use them for healing. As far as I knew in my long years of gardening it had never happened to me… at least not yet until one summer when I unexpectedly became a wandering minstrel gypsy with a performing Ecuadorean family of musicians as their co-ordinator, unintentionally (but rather cavalierly) abdicating my role as garden mistress. That was the summer I finally “heard” the plants…only it wasn’t a song…it was an indignant lecture and chiding.

Attentively planting and raising my heirloom vegetable plants from seed in early spring, I looked after each stage of their emergence and growth with great delight. Planting them in the rich prepared soil of the side garden, I looked forward to seeing them begin…

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Garden June Sacred

Being a Taurus Sun Earthkeeper person, I have always had gardens where I live. The cycle of the seasons in a 4-climate region has captivated me since childhood…each turn full of magic, myth and mystery.

Growing up in an inner city in the northeast USA, I was not exposed to posh gardens in the concrete environment even though I lived in an apartment building on Ash Grove Place which still had a genteel air leftover from earlier times when the neighborhood was lined with ash trees before cars. The plants that came through the cracks and between the buildings in ally-ways were the wild things…dandelions, poke, yellow dock, plantains and the flowers of grasses. Of course back then, I didn’t know their names but I was called to them because they were green growing living things tucked in and around the hardness and grey of city asphalt.

There were two “garden” situations however that served our city spirits. One was the chain-link fence bordering the back parking lot behind our apartment building. In spring and summer, the tall fence was covered by the climbing vines of morning glories. The blue flowers were a never-ending delight…the tight spirals of the buds before opening, which we would pick, blowing at their now- tiny opening at the base .. and out they would flare into full flower by the power of our own mini-godlike breath. Picking the full flower itself , we would also suck at the small opening at the base of it, pulled from the vine, to taste a delightful delicate sweetness,  coming to understand what the bees were collecting while visiting its center!

The second garden was for viewing only through the openings in the chain link fence to the back lot of the next-door neighbor. A German immigrant with a thick accent, he was a crabby terrible tempered territorial old man who yelled loudly and threatened any and all kids who might attempt to climb over the fence to receive a ball gone astray in the air, landing in his green sanctuary. But he was an amazing gardener and it was like peering into the Garden of Eden or a guarded oasis in the middle of the hood between buildings. As an adult, I now understand his fierce and protective personality preserving the peace and order of his sacred garden from a pack of potentially disruptive and invasive neighborhood kids….

My own gardens from marriage, parenthood, divorce, partnership and singledom on have varied. My first planting was of Lamb’s Ears (stachys officinalis) which first captivated me in a re-created colonial apothecaries’ garden at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT when I was age 21. The gardens that  followed throughout my life started with herbs and their charming and healing mystique, and later, flowers and vegetables. Always always green around me.  

Veggie Garden

( One of my earlier gardens )

Several years ago, serious vision problems with early cataracts began to develop and it became impossible for me to see in sunlight and also to just see clearly at all. For the past three years, that, plus a couple of stressful, attention-stealing life situations blocked the ability to garden. I thought that was okay. But there was a flatness in my spirit as a result…unrecognizable to others…but known to my own self. A loss of some sort of energy and meaning. A loss of “veriditas”.

Now, with much excitement and gratitude, my eyesight has been restored through surgeries,  and with the renewal of vision, I could not let another year go by without tending the “Green”.  Three years of not taking care of the yarden turned it into wildness except for the front. This year, I invested in Grow Boxes, not having the time or energy to tame field and woodland and in planting them and situating them in my yard,  I realized that in not gardening the last three years, I had lost some part of SOUL….my own “Greening Spirit/Veriditas”… by not participating in the cycle of the seasons in person and not tending the plants. But now! My Soul has come back home to both the inner and outer gardens!

Garden rainy

A week or so ago, as I walked through the front border to the road, I stubbed my toe on an exposed corner of a flat rock buried under moss and matted grass. I bent over to scrape away dirt and plant matter to find a garden plaque that my partner David had placed in my new herb garden almost 20 years ago when we moved in. I had at that time also been teaching a nine-month internship in folkloric herbalism, natural foods and earth spirituality, called “The Sacred Garden”.

Garden June Sacred

How synchronistic was its surprise emergence from “under” to welcome my SOUL back home as I became a “gardener” once again.

They are BACK! My garden, My Soul !

Veriditas! from  Christine, the Greening Spirit

IMG_7728

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Cukes Overboard! Escaping!

Cukes Overboard! Escaping!

You don’t have to go far from the garden to learn lessons about life, plants and people. For instance, Cukes have a mind of their own…being such a watery vegetable, their emotions are quite sensitive. If the environment of their daily life becomes too small and contained, or they have to partner up sharing space with others who have a different temperament (like Italian Frying Peppers), they can only put up with so much.

Cukes have the propensity to wander…and wander far, as well as have a rather secret life. That is, in search of emotional freedom and adventure, they travel by their vines right out of the box and across and around the green, yet sending out their fine tendrils to hold on to something steady and reliable…you know… that means anything in its path, to assure a modicum of security as they wander far…just in case.

Cukes on the move.... vines heading out!

Cukes on the move…. vines heading out!

Their “secret life” manifests in tossing themselves..the cuke itself…right out of the back of the box where they remain hidden from your eyes even though you thought you had spotted and collected every delicious one.

But NOOOoooooo…. out back over the fence behind the box or border, hiding in a mass of tangle of their leaves and vines are the BIG guys. Having “jumped ship” before you could shout…”Ahoy…Cuke overboard!” they live out that secret life of competing for the biggest and best of the group before in a slant of light, quite by accident…you..the Master Gardner…catch a glimpse of them and fight your way through the vines getting all prickled and itchy to round them up to accompany you for dinner.

Fighting your way through the viney jungle

Fighting your way through the viney jungle

…Which of course, they are happy to do. Vegetables know they are here to serve as food, and are happy to fulfill their mission being at table with us.

I often think how necessary it is for creative people to break “out of the box” of traditional culture and our home base as we mature when the familiar and static patterns become too routine, and too small or tight for exploration and self-expression. Sometime to grow into our bigger soul-selves we just do have to jump ship, go over the side into the wilds of life to find out who we are. It serves us well to send out kind tendrils of friendship and connection as we move about, even if we have to hide out back at times to do our creative work inspired by imagination and dreams.

Sometimes we just have to go rogue and become “cuke”.

But after a while, we must remember to come back to the table and share our goodness! Our crispness, moisture and stories…

ps. As writers, how do we know if you liked this if you don’t tell us! Please click *like* if you did, share away, or leave a comment and say hi!

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

Garden June Sacred Lots of inspiration on my other blogs! Come and visit!

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

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Yarden mow (2)

Every front has a back and every life has a public and a private reality. In the practice of “dreamwork” we use the terms “The Conscious” and “The Unconscious” to understand the parts of us that we ordinary identify with and know about ourselves in some sort of orderly fashion and predictability vs the part of us that is more hidden behind the scenes(or underground to use a green metaphor) and often surprises us with unexpected behaviours or bursts of unplanned genius and creativity. In truth, in a balanced life, we need to allow for the activities of both territories.

Ancient writers, philosophers and poets have often used the garden as a metaphor for the soul and I find that it is so, as an expression of the way we live our lives. Thoughtful awareness, intention, focus, purpose, conscious planning and follow-through often (but not always!) produce the results we intended. The garden, tamed and contained, has a pleasing order, and is its own delight. In my world it is on the front lawn……what I can see from the open front door of my living room and what others can see as they pass by. Well tended,  watched over for the expected daily bursts of growth, what’s been consciously and deliberately planted appears (mostly) as planned.

Garden June 25

What is NOT seen from the well-planned front lawn of the Conscious mind is that back yarden that is always there and active altho un-tended with deliberate mindfulness and attention. No human “control” issues back there. That does not mean it is not FULL of life and things not ordinarily thought about. It TEEMS with wildness and creativity, this un-mowed territory, and it teems with the encoded genetic and experiential memory of weeds and herbs and vines, and roots and ferns and mosses and all manner of ancient life still blossoming all around us. Stepping around the house from the front to the back yarden there is a kind of shock entering this world of seeming chaos. Isn’t that an appropriate and understandable response or reaction when the wildness of the Unconscious bursts through into our well-ordered lives?

Yarden mow (2)

I  faux-lamented to a friend about this behind the scenes chaos, that in the  abandonment of control behind the house, my “lawn” had turned into an un-mowed field. Being an Englishman of proper language, he informed me that over there, it is called a “meadow“.

How lovely to think of this overgrown and untended area with the word “meadow”… a place to run through, investigate and play in discovering a wildness, as we should when immersed in living with “soul”. I much prefer now to think of that un-mowed part of my life as a meadow rather than a chaotic mess to tame and subdue with my imposed willfulness and intention, letting it reveal wonders and surprises to me if I just let it be.

Yarden mow   back

Later today, I will be stepping into that green chaos and see what’s out there and will report what I find in the next chapter here of  the My Garden, My Soul series…

Flower Child      Veriditas! from Christine,  the Greening Spirit

All my writing does seem to be a mix of order and wildness of thought! Check that out in my other blogs:

http://wordmagicandthelawof attraction.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

Radiance Melissa

“There is no creation that does not have a radiance, be it greenness or seed, blossom, (leaf) or beauty. It could not be creation without it.” ~ Hildegarde of Bingen  (1098-1179 c.e.)

It is true than everything has its own shimmer and radiant sparkling, but it is not always perceived except with the eyes of the Mystic or Dreamer. How lovely are those graced and gifted moments when Light opens and illumines for us the life force of the greening spirit that is of science, earth and heaven all dancing together.

Radiance 10

The delicious woods and gardens walk with one of my daughters in honor of Mother’s Day was filled with the radiance of life and love … in the land, the vegetation and air itself. It is no wonder that painters have often painted “halos” of light around who and what is holy and beautiful.

May the eyes of our Souls be ever open and perceiving of the Radiance existing all around us… 

(top picture, my daughter M…who is full of radiance herself)

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

ALSO: Yellow 3                                                      http://sensuousoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

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  GardenRomantic

Ah, with a sigh I admit I was not born into privilege and wealth and therefore it is not part of my daily inheritance to wander through “the gardens” in early morning going over my agenda of appearances and social commitments for the day. Perhaps if I had been, I would not actually have the time to linger and daydream in such a sanctuary being busy with a multitude royal responsibilities. As a commoner and somewhat of an artist and dreamer, I, though definitely working for a living, often have the luxury of time to wander through such preserved gardens as a total romantic… one definition of which is ” to carry on a love affair with”.

How could we not be in love with such a place, or long to be in love with a soulmate who also might be lingering behind one of those flowering shrubs waiting to pop out suddenly to bow and kiss our hand (that HAS happened to me on more than one occasion..the chivalric kissing on the hand…quite lovely I must say).

Garden Romantic 2

Thank goodness there are places like this that are well planned and lovingly tended by caretakers whose high service is to preserve beauty and to share it with those who seek moments away from the mundane!

 Until a knight…just for me..springs out in front of me with that kiss, I will linger in places like this in all seasons and never apologize for the romance of life…illusions, longings and fulfillment that CAN and often does surprise us when we least expect it!

Waiting for that surprise with anticipation,

Christine, the Greening Spirit

shawl

(Long Hill and Sedgewick Gardens, Beverly, MA)

 

I think you will find surprises in my other blogs!

http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

 

Gareden tulips soulspace

In the poetry and writing of the Mystics, the flower garden is often a metaphor for the Soul or the time out to tend the Soul. If you are not sure exactly what “the Soul” is or means….just open the gate to the flower garden, enter there and be IN it surrounded by the colors, textures, imaginative shapes and sensuous scents and you will come to understand “The Soul” or Soul-Space.

Linger there, awed by the beauty and the stimulation of all your senses,  for “the Soul”  is not separate from the body…. the body is IN the Soul, surrounded by the Soul, and not the other way around. Soul Space is often boundaried and contained, the fence symbolic of the time apart necessary to pay attention to its creative potential and flowering gifts…time out from the “un-awares” and surface mainstream life. 

Garden tulips-001

But really..better still…the secret to happiness:  once inside the garden, awake and aware, it is possible to gather the flowers of Soul and bring them back out into your life and the world around you…so in need of Beauty. Live it! BE it!

From within the Garden,

Christine, the Greening Spirit

Flower Child

There are lots of ways to be in Soul Space!

Please visit my other blogs…

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Garden Gate

Sometimes in life we don’t know whether we are coming or going. Are we leaving the garden of the familiar  through the open gate,  letting go of people or places feeling sad, or are we accepting an invitation to enter a new phase feeling open and excited?

Sometimes we are in-between. Sitting on the fence for a while, which often feels kind of hard…boulders we may have to climb over to get either in or out!

I love this garden gate though…it looks curvy and musical and suggests to me that going either way…entering or leaving…coming in or going out is worthy of a song celebrating freedom and choices…surrounded by such greenery on either side… “All is well, all is well, and all manner of things shall be well” ~ Julian of Norwich.

This is a lovely affirmation I say often these days, being somewhat stalled myself, sitting on the stone wall between my old life and home and the uncertain, unknown future on the other side of the fence. Because that gate is so lovely however, I am hopeful that each side of the garden will be equally beautiful…

Garden Gate 2

This garden gate is on the beautiful land trust Long Hill and Sedgewick Gardens in Beverly, MA.

Photo Credits: Christine Phoenix Green

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

Me Turqoise

I am writing all the time between teaching music and piano! So much to share!

Please wander over to my other blogs for great recipes and kitchen memoirs, music links and stories about teaching music, and wonderful practices and thoughts for affirming life with the Law of Attraction and Word Magic!

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GS 2

We do take trees for granted, often thinking of them in standard  forms, sketching the generic “tree”  while doodling on paper during a phone call or faculty meeting. But oh truly there is no such thing as a generic common tree. They are so delightfully unique, dressing themselves in designer leaves and bark…beautiful bark of the most outrageous designs!

Bark 2

I have always loved the tree-trunks with their permanent drapes and folds like living skin…which actually it is..and caressed them as I pass by, like petting a beloved dog or cat. But in addition, oh my how they self-decorate themselves in the most eye-catching designs and textures.

Bark 20 (2)

My daughter Melissa and I swooned with pleasure and curiosity during our Mother’s Day walk…a week late, yesterday, she reading the identification tags with fervor and my stopping taking pictures of roots, leaves, bark, and all manner of lush greenery.

Melissa Tree

Textures and whirls in the bark..what stories do they tell? What purposes do they serve?

Bark 30

Our beloved and magical trees.. full of the Greening Spirit of Life!

MD Woods 2015

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

Me Turqoise                                      Please visit my other blogs!

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Herb fence

Wherever I have lived I have had a garden of  colorful flowers, herbs which I adore especially for their medicine, and vegetables which delight me to no end watching them blossom and offer bounty over the season with such amazing creativity from seed, to stem, leaf, flower and fruit…

I have so missed gardening for the past 3 years because of vision problems that kept me from being in the sun and white glare, and the residue of Lyme which has made me intolerant of high temperature and especially humidity. Alas! My gardens as a result,  have turned, untended, into field and mini-forest.

But now, as I am reclaiming my vision through surgery, I am longing to once again assist my green allies in making their dramatic appearances in my yarden once again, even if in Grow Boxes which can be moved for tending to bypass the achiness of Lyme that flares up periodically. Since I have always photographed what I love, I have a portfolio of gardens-past memories to keep me inspired.

Over the years of gardening, we tuck little green gems wherever we can in between things. The above garden border contains daylilies, chives, burdock, milkweed, showy irises, furry lamb’s ears, and out of range of this picture…lots of mugwort, the dreamer’s herb of the crone or wise woman. Just looking at this picture makes me want to run right outside now and see if I can find them beneath and behind the now tangle of thorny vines that have taken over areas I have not taken care of recently.

Oh most green and colorful garden treasure… I love you!

IMG_7728 from Christine, the Greening Spirit

Please visit my other blogs!

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://wordmagicandthelawofattracton.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

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