In her book, Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden, Kathryn Hall uses gardening as a universal metaphor for life and spiritual transformation.
While living in Holland, she realized she felt uncomfortable so she decided to plant a garden outside her home. Before long neighbors began stopping by and asking her advice. She was led to her life’s calling by taking a small action. One planting at at time, she realized her passion.
Upon conversing with most people, I haven’t found too many that truly know what brings them joy. I think we have a basic understanding of what feels good but joy, tends to be illusive.
Joy. The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation. It seems to me joy is a state of being as opposed to a state of circumstance. So if I am to plant what gives me joy, I must plant seeds of love, weed out fear, water hope, feed possibility… The harvest; bountiful acts of kindness, pleasant surprises and peace. Sounds like a fair trade.
However, gardens are quite complex. We must know the soil and climate for if we cannot grow what we have set our hearts on, we must either redesign our plan, or move. I found this out when I moved to LA. LA is basically a desert. My mom became obsessed with sustainability about 10 years ago which meant ripping out all the grass in our front yard and replacing it with succulents and cactus from other desert regions all over the world. We went to gardens, plant shows, got books. I became increasingly fascinated with the variety and beauty of the plants that easily grew in our climate. We were odd balls for years until our plants bloomed incredible spring flowers and eco-friendly living became status quo.
Sometimes the garden that brings joy will make you the oddball for a minute but in the end… A garden is a miracle and a joy garden is the best miracle of all.