Gentle Gardening

I moved into a house with a garden. The house had been lying empty for four months and had gone through a “garden cleanup” session by the renovators. The short trees of Arali, hibiscus and Markamia which lined two sides of the house were cut down from 10-12ft to stumps of 2-4 feet in height. The markhamias seemed to have survived and were flowering but the arali’s had dried out. The hibiscus looked also to be drying but there were some green leaves. The grass in the lawn and the rest of the shorter shrubs were all completely dried brown due to the lack of watering. The bamboos had shed all their leaves and were brown stalks. (But maybe this was seasonal, not sure.)

I felt sad and angry to see the work of the renovators on the tree stumps as they seemed to represent to me much that I think is dangerous about our current mindset. The need to ruthlessly protect and maintain our possesions without consideration or understanding of the others position. The need to destroy totally out of fear the other, in a conflict, instead of trying for coexistence. Not learning to use power gently. I see parallels in many areas – how we treat our children, how we treat animals on the roads , almost everywhere there is an hierarchy. Most times I am against this rampant violence. At other times I wonder if this is how nature is and whether survival is a violent process. I am not sure what nature is. I only know that all this violence and destruction hurts me and makes me feel unsafe about people. So I decided to garden gently!

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