THE GARDEN WITHIN

posted in: essays, Gardening, Meditation | 1

The morning sun shines a luminous shower upon my face and the coolish breeze softly combs through my hair. Kitchen baskets of apples, tomatoes, squash, and peppers overflow. Mike made elderberry jam with fruit from a bush planted two years ago. We smile in abundance. Western New York September proliferates in fecundity.

And when a writer can gather and share the sense of the season’s days, every reader whistles in delight. Every yogi merges into the essential nature. It’s been a pleasure to spend some time with longtime friend, Penelope writer, artist, mindfulness practitioner, and wild gardener, Sara Baker Michalak’s collection of essays, THE GARDEN WITHIN, published by FOOTHILLS.

Sara’s writing is saturated with the essence of a life embracing the earth. The strength of her vision has charged my own. As soon as I step outside, the echo of her voice resounds within my own. How deep was my blindness before reading TGW? It’s through seeing that our boundaries dissolve. Our vision widens and penetrates ever finer levels, so we grow richer, connected in wonder, joy, and spirit to all beings.

From “October 18” by Sara Baker Michalak


October’s declining has drained the creek. The higher channel, described a few short weeks ago by rushing waters, is marked now only by water’s channeled way, by dust.

In a slightly lower spot, a lone water bug – moored, stuck, dead, whatever – hangs at the scummy edge of a puddle’s remnants. I think: wouldn’t a lush place be pleasant now for focusing my spacey staring; and bugging, not not bugging, nice to marvel at?

Yet, when I really see scum’s variations – crust, skin, foam, froth – it, too, describes this creek’s floody life, apart from the meanings, or no-meanings, I construe. Seeing leans on wanting, watching, waiting.

Raindrops, then more, enough for water bug to boogie her way about the small sea. Enough for me to wonder at drizzle chiseling such abundance out of this dry day.

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One Response

  1. I am being told that elderberries have 3 times the VIT C as oranges. Really???

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