eulogy, for a garden

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As I’ve mentioned on twitter, my community garden plot is set to be bulldozed on Monday morning, to make way for some new high-density housing for graduate students at UC Irvine.  That the current on-campus housing is already under-occupied is not a concern to those who have made this plan, I suppose.  That our garden has been on this ground since the 1970s only makes is easier to put on the chopping block (many newer buildings are also being dozed).  I don’t know if I’ll ever invest my heart so deeply in a plot of earth again.

The slideshow below is mostly from my garden, with a few images from other gardens that I love, too.  I’ll be capturing whatever other photos I can over the next day or so as I clean out my plot, and post them here.

If you are so inclined, I really would love some garden poetry in the comments below this post.  I am needing that right now.

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6 thoughts on “eulogy, for a garden

  1. John

    I know I struggled in some ways with you, garden. You reminded me of growing up. You sent Jana to the hospital. Helping you may have contributed to my back pain, and limited mobility. You are sharp blackberry brambles and incessant politics and a lemon tree thorn that went through the sole of my shoe and came up deep between two toes.

    But these are not the first things that come to mind (though I wrote them first to acknowledge them, and to move past them), nor the most dominant. Instead, there are reds/greens of tomatoes and the pale purples of lavender and the many colors of roses and lush green everywhere. There is the smell of damp earth, tinged with steer manure and coffee grounds and the juices of pulled weeds, and the sound of bees and neighborly chatter and water drops and the laughter of friends, and the hot touch of the sun, or the cool caress of evening air.

    But most of all, you brought Jana joy, comfort and peace. To her, you are, you were a true temple, a haven, a portion of heaven. And I thank you for that.

    There are other gardens in this world, but you are a special garden, and she–and I–will remember you.

  2. Naomi Mitchell

    and days of bliss
    spent milling around
    Mother Earth.
    Dark brown,
    full of sultry
    rich smells,
    sustaining blooms
    of beauty
    bountiful nutrition
    for my
    preservative laden
    little girl belly.

    A new way of life,
    making our way from the Earth,
    is learned
    a little each day
    in the tiny plots
    tended by
    knowledge seekers.
    Intentions pure,
    love un-equivocal,
    shared between a community.

    A garden made of hope,
    built on dreams
    and evolution
    is lost to the
    suburban jungle.
    My tiny toes
    and sweet childlike energy
    will stay with that land.
    My love
    and adoration
    will stay in
    my heart.

  3. Jessawhy

    My favorite broadway musical is The Secret Garden. I have the CD and I’ve listened to it for years.

    Here’s a Youtube clip of the song, “A Bit of Earth” sung by Archibald Craven when Mary asks for a bit of earth to plant seeds in. I think it’s really beautiful. I hope you enjoy it. (The version on Youtube is a BCC production, the song I’m used to hearing is by Mandy Patikin)

    It reminds me of how important gardens are for our mental and spiritual health.
    I wish you the best as you deal with this loss. Much love, Jess.

  4. Bored in Vernal

    Had to find this poem for you, to offer as a eulogy for your garden. I wrote it in 2007 — wasn’t expecting, but used that as a device to honor the fecundity of the earth and Deity.

    My heavy shovel turns the dirt aside
    The clods of grass are severed by the roots,
    While scurry by some beetles, ants, and newts
    And creatures that within the earth do hide.
    As I survey this ground, my plot so wide
    I see the furrows rise beneath my boots,
    Bare buds secede to flowers, then to fruits–
    My vision for this garden spot untried.
    I place my hand where curves my middle part
    And feel to hum a lullaby quite low.
    I feel a movement deep below my heart
    Such beauty strikes my soul, and I am shown
    that One who in Creation has a part
    The gracious Gardener makes good things to grow.

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