I was working in the zen garden, contemplating life, the universe and everything when the thought of Earth Day encroached into the peaceful thoughts. The boxwood hedge on one side of the gravel filled box had just been trimmed and the bits were being carefully removed from the pea gravel, along with a few wind planted weeds. It was slow, methodical work, the perfect vibe for the path to enlightenment. I began to think about The Earth and the meaning of the day set aside for it. One day. (Photo: LTB, son of offspring Semi, after he added the stone bridge in the zen garden, March 2010. He looked at the zen garden and the first thing out of his mouth was that it needed a bridge. How did he know that is a requirement for proper zen?)
I need to take a small detour from zen for a rant, please excuse this break with the calming flow. (LTB having a moment of zen with Kitty by the pond, August 2010, we are traveling backwards in time.)
Now is the season that television ads are being aimed at what the advertisers think are gardeners. They ignore us for most of the year, which is fine by me since it is nearly all chemical companies that have the funds for such expensive adverts, anyway. Gardening through chemicals is their scheme, including but not limited to preventing weeds in the flower beds.
(Photo of LTB contemplating the pond, April 2009.) They show two shots, one of a flower using the weed preventer and one without. Notice that the one with the preventer still has weeds, BTW. This rankles my last nerve. Why waste money on this when all one has to do is reach over, grasp the offending plant and pull it out of the ground? The granules also contain chemical fertilizer, not necessary either, in my gardening world. If you pull the weeds before they flower and seeds have formed, they can be allowed to compost right there, feeding the soil. It’s free, it is good exercize, it lets the gardener get closer to the plants to really understand their needs and just to say hello. In other words, it is good for the Earth. Or in some circles, just saying, those weeds might be more beneficial than the store bought plant, but we won’t go there, today.
Hand weeding, or even using tools is a better prescription for being one with the planet than spraying and sprinkling stuff left over from refining petroleum. Don’t get me started on that one, please. So many of the flowers here are self sown volunteers that would not exist if a chemical that prevents germination were used, even if it was made from corn gluten. That sea of Nigella, gone with the wind. The Dance of the Dianthus, would be only the lonely. Forget me nots would be forgottens. The Viola Beauty Pageant could not be held, for the contestants are all spontaneous risers from the gravel paths of the knot garden. There would only be the original three Hellebores instead of hundreds. We could go on, but I believe you have gotten the gist of the rant. We have a long way to go to enlightenment. ~ I apologize for this tirade, but felt it necessary and pertinent to get that off my chest. (Photo of LTB contemplating the pond, April 2008.)
Back to zenning. To me, searching for meaning involves slowing down, taking time to notice one’s surroundings and appreciate the beauty that exists in every living thing. It means looking through the eyes of a child, for it is they who come into this world understanding the incredible, amazing magic that is all around us. (Photo of LTB sitting on the little bench on the front stoop, October, 2007.)
We need to protect and champion our environment, not for ourselves, but for those who will come after us, generation after generation. We don’t want them to suffer from our lack of stewardship. (Photo of LTB watering the muhly bed, with supervision, September, 2007.)
On this Earth Day 2011, let us be mindful of the soil beneath our feet and the water that runs through it. Let us think about what we are adding to it. (Photo taken recently with my phone. LTB, my how he has grown!, is studying the algae bloom in the pond.)