Something to Think About in the Garden

by Marina Ingrit

I have so much to say right now, but my tongue is tangled in knots.

I feel so much right now, but the discomfort makes me want to hide.

There is so much discomfort: Of the violence we are seeing unfold daily. It’s a brutality and injustice we’ve all known was there… but perhaps it brought us comfort to never fully acknowledge it. Oh, to be so fortunate to have that luxury. If our innocence is shattered now, it was a long time coming.

And still there are many who turn away, or wag their fingers and say, “But they didn’t stay home,” or worry their hands about what the world would become if this were not a police state. As if we NEED this brutality to keep us in line. As if this is the only way. As if a more just and humane society is impossible. As if violence is just a fact of who we are — all we are.

There is discomfort in my own culpability, and I try to sit in stillness with it. It is mine alone to uncover, although I think there are aspects of this that we can work on together. It would be easy to give over to guilt or shame, but while these feelings can serve a purpose, they too can be used as a comfort of sorts. I’m trying to use them as a reminder of the work to be done rather than a protective blanket, an excuse for immobility and silence.

For me the garden is a teacher, a classroom, and a sanctuary in one. It is a place to unearth difficult things. This week as I plant tomatoes and pull out weeds, I’ve been thinking a lot again about the roots of how we are as a society and as individuals within that society. So many of these answers can be found in the garden.

What is our relationship to the little patches of earth we tend? What is the language we use to talk about them?

I know people are sick of hearing about colonialism, but it is the root of our disease. We carry that mindset into the garden: of ownership, of superiority, of dominance and subordination. Of power and submission. Of control and extraction. Of us versus them. Of our own self-importance and over-entitlement. If we carry it there, where else do we carry it?

Over the years I’ve felt a release in my nervous system as my relationship with the garden shifts towards reciprocity and away from placing myself at the centre. How can I bring that into the world with me now?

Something to think about when we’re in the garden this weekend.

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