Sunday, November 19, 2006

Nurturing the soul through gardening

I wasn't sure what I would post today, until I read a review of a recommended book. The book is Death by Suburb: How to Keep the Suburbs from Killing Your Soul by Dave L. Goetz. A friend at church, the source of many good book recommendations, thought I would like this book about searching for community. It sounds pretty good, but a comment by the first reviewer made me cringe at his cluelessness about gardening:
In the pleasant bedroom communities of America, it can seem as if people are more concerned with tidy flowerbeds than they are the things that nurture the soul.
When I need to nurture my soul, I get down on my knees, hands in the dirt, working with God's creation. I observe the beautiful flowers, the patterns in the leaves, the growth habits, the tiny creatures, how it all works together. I breathe in the fragrant air, whether from newly-turned earth or flowers. I feel privileged to be part of it, to create a thing of beauty. My stresses melt away and I live in the moment.

Then later in his review he uses a garden as an example of ways to move toward more silence! If the garden can nurture the soul of a visitor, how much more does it nurture the soul of the gardener?

Now if he had referenced perfectly manicured, overly chemically-treated lawns as a soul-sucking surburban activity, then I would have nodded my head in agreement!


Blackswamp_Girl said...

I read that comment and I thought, "HUH??!" I'm with you on that one.

Dave Goetz said...

I trust that you didn't confuse the quote by the reviewer of my book, Death by Suburb, with anything that I wrote in the book. Gardening is a holy activity.