Apple tree and burdock

It is just about Summer Solstice of 2020. What a year it has been! Pandemics, zoom classes, mask wearing, social distancing, staying home, day after day… has been a year of transforming what appears to be chaos into wild abundance. It has been a year of not knowing so much and of trusting that things are going to work out. It has been a year so far of deep grief and sorrow for people who’s loved ones have perished through illness and through violence. It has been a year of reckoning for a lot of people who are not going to take it anymore!

I just spent a couple of hours in my garden, tending the wild abundance. This year I did not have the patience of apprentices, students and garden assistants to help maintain and transform the garden. There is quite a bit of chaos in the garden right now. I am reminded about the very old Chinese wisdom that “in the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity”. This is quite fitting for me in regards to the garden.

Comfrey is the comforting one.

Are you tuned into what is going on upon the earth? There is something happening that is quite transformative. What I have noticed is there is a lot more of everything. Out under the apple tree, there is gigantic burdock leaves, and the apples that are forming on our trees are already quite large. We have quite an abundance of wild rose blossoms this year…so many that harvesting them, there are still plenty more that will develop into hips.

The rain has come so abundantly this spring that we have weeds galore all over the place. The cleavers are weaving their way through many of the other plants. Grasses are tall. Nettle, blackberry, thistle, sow thistle, buttercup, mint, chickweed, amaranth, dandelion, wild carrot, red dock, yellow dock, plantain, red clover, lemon balm, agrimony, rose, self heal, lavender, vervain, bee balm, motherwort, solomon seal, lovage, sorrel, mullein, cronewort, yarrow, comfrey, violet, Hawthorne, calendula, borage. I love writing down all the plants I can think of. As I write each one, I feel like I am offering you a blessing with it.

Wild Rose thicket on our land.

There is an opportunity here to allow chaos to be present. The opportunity is to an openness to something entirely new. In Seattle, near where I live and close to a school where I used to teach, there is a movement happening. Protesters have taken over a few city block on Capital Hill in Seattle and have created a mini village when they are not allowing police to enter. What I have heard is that there is music there, there are speakers, there is free food and art and even a garden. All I can say about this Capital Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) is that people want to try something new, to create something out of the chaos of feeling so much grief.

So, I am allowing an openness to what could happen in my garden. I am not sure what will unfold from the wild abundant chaos of this year. And I am grateful for not knowing, as it is the beginning of wisdom.

May it be in Beauty.