Our Relationship with Nature — who takes the lead?By Andrea on May 04, 2010 — Leave a comment
A client recently asked me for a consultation to help her strengthen her relationship with the plant spirits in her garden. She already has a well-developed kinship with her land, yet she wondered if she was truly in-tune when she consulted the cedar trees in her hedge. She wanted to take down a few trees, let in some light, add a small flowering tree, clematis, and a sitting area.
Having carefully conceived the plan, she was surprised when the cedars said, “No” when she went to ask them for permission. Immediately, she began to doubt herself. Approaching the cedars at different intervals, she still got the same response, and that’s when she called me.
“I’m not sure about my intuition,” she said. “Something’s off in my relationship with the plant spirits.”
Our entire session focused on strengthening her needs and desires, rather than solely listening to the will of the plants. In a fascinating series of exercises, she focused her intention in various areas (physical health, harmony with her family, and a desire for the garden to flourish) while I tuned in on the spirit of her garden, listening for its response.
As my client clearly articulated her desires, I used my intuitive perceptions of the garden to present us with precise solutions and creative possibilities that strongly resonated with her.
For instance, with her physical health, the garden ‘suggested’ she plant two small herb gardens, one in a shade, another in the sun. Doing this would allow her to engage in the complex energetics of these healing plants. Instead of just taking the herbs recommended by her naturopath, the garden wanted her to become much more involved in the dynamic life of the plants. We both realised this process would engage her mentally, emotionally, and spiritually as well as strengthen her physical health.
My client realised she had been deferring to Nature rather than standing firmly and whole-heartedly in her rightful role as co-creator. A few days after the consultation, she reported that things had shifted dramatically. She felt much more vitality in her relationship with all the elements of her garden. She wrote, “I went into the garden later in the afternoon and felt so much more connected… there was a stronger flow of energy between me and the plants and the soil and all the critters. Made me recognise just how vibrant the garden is and how eager to connect.”
As a culture, we have lost the etiquette for this dynamic relationship with Nature. The consultation reminded me of one of the fundamental lessons I learned early in my co-creative gardening career. At the start of my flower essence career, I had a profound dream. A primary teaching was repeated four times by two men and two women — a four-square mandala of perfect balance between masculine and feminine energies. This is the phrase that constantly guides my co-creative gardening. “Precious is my garden, and my garden is me.” Deferring to Nature keeps us immature, as does the imposition of our will on the natural world.