July 6, 2022
Over these past two months of being here in Ireland on pilgrimage with three groups, so much has landed. So many insights and knowings at so many levels. Incredibly profound, deep, and life changing. I knew writing during this time would not work. So now that I’m back at HazelWood Cottage for a few days before I head back to MossTerra, I’ve been wondering if any writing would arrive. It always works in this way of arrival.
Today this arrived. And while I’m a bit surprised and bemused, this is what’s being called to be written. Such is the way of the muse. And so a beginning.
I sent this photo of our Irish garden to a friend. Her response was that we could use a few goats to mow the grass. Actually we have goats next door but they would probably do more than just munch the grass. It does seem a general consensus that our landscapes should be mowed and manicured and curated. When neighbor Mick wandered up recently for a cup of coffee, he said, “Ah, I see ye have decided to go wild.” He was very surprised by my response that in fact I’ve hired a landscaper who is doing exactly that. I could see by his response that paying someone to foster this wild garden is a foreign concept. His garden is well manicured.
I’ve spent the last two months connecting deeply with the great harmony and web of all life here in Ireland. The ancient sacred sites, the ancestral and otherworld realms, the cosmos, the stones and waters and plants and animals of the landscapes. As Chief Sealth said, we did not create this web. We are but one strand in it. And much of the focus of these past months has been to step into that web with sacred intention.
Every part of that web is part of a sacred design. Every plant in our garden is also part of that design. It is not my place to decide which plants are part of Nature’s tapestry and which are not. Our intention with our Irish garden is to create a wild, organic, and native habitat for the creatures we share this land with. And as I write this, the butterflies are dancing through the clover and flowers in the grass. As it should be.
Yes. Dominion over the land comes to us through the Christian construct. And clearly many have embraced that notion of deciding what should thrive and what should be weeded out. And I have to ask….how is this different than the notion of white supremacists deciding which people should thrive and which people should be eliminated? I appreciate this comparison may seem brutal. But who are we to decide what belongs in the web and what doesn’t? It’s a total and antithetical affront to the sacred.
I’ve long held this idea but in my recent connection with the great harmony, it’s now deeply rooted in me. And so with my remaining days in Ireland, I will enjoy the chaos of it all. The cascade of yellow blossoms that almost obscure the cottage. The abundance of butterflies. Rory playing his flute to the roses climbing the arch at the front of the house. The sweet smelling herbs that line the walk ways. The birds nesting in the trees and the critters nesting below the weeping willow tree.
It’s exactly as it should be.
I love the wild garden. Becoming exactly what you had in your heart, mind and soul.
I’m glad that you’re growing wild, as it were. That complements creation, as created. As for dominion theology, that’s regrettable. It’s based on an Edenic promise that we didn’t keep. We’re outcast from that garden (not in charge of it or the rest), and we need to go for new terms that show we can serve the Earth as well as (when needs be) have the Earth serve us. I appreciate your wise narrative, Judith, and hope you are really well.