“To live in this world
You must be able
To do three things:
To love what is mortal
To hold it
Against your bones knowing your own life depends on it
And, when the time comes to let it go
To let it go.”

-Rupi Kaur, The Sun and Her Flowers

As these cool and foggy days settle into the garden I wattle around wrapped in layers and envision the coming of spring. While I harvest kale and admire the glossy leaves of the cabbage, a feeling of gratitude for all that the garden continues to give overwhelms me. This gift of nourishment during a time of dormancy fills me with wonder at all that the garden can continue to provide.

With winter settling in I am enthralled with observing the cycles of the natural world unfold before my eyes. I have learned to find solace in the pruned lavender and the deadheading of columbine. With leaves acting as mulch, enriching the soil and suppressing weeds I trace the patterns of oranges and reds that fade into black, watching as decomposition renews the soil.

In biodynamics winter is the time the land draws inward, a duality I find mirrored in those who tend the land. During winter gardeners find more time for introspection, my own inner thoughts cycle on all I have to be grateful for. A feeling of gratitude and contentment is no small feat in a season where we are driven to purchase more and more, an endless cycle of wanting and consuming.

By acknowledging and giving thanks for the abundance that the garden provides, I am left feeling full and complete, I want for nothing. As the garden continues to pour out gifts I take each moment to give thanks, knowing that the moment is fleeting. Gifts from the land are not static, rather they follow the cycle of the natural world, a pattern of renewal. As I harvest the last of the radishes, I’m patient and content. I know that once these radishes are gone the spring holds the promise of a fresh abundance of greens and flowers.

This is reciprocity, giving thanks for these gifts and acting to return them through mindfulness and ecological responsibility. In saying that I have enough, in acknowledging that I am brimming with enough to sustain me, I undermine the part of the holiday season that demands for us to consume more. Perhaps this will be the greatest gift this holiday season, the realization that the earth provides us with all we need. 

-With Love from the Garden 

Shannon