Green Talk:
A Secret Garden of the Soul


A garden is a place in which life is reborn daily. It nurtures the soul as well as the body. Old people become young again as they coax beauty, peace and sustenance out of the earth. Young people learn the miracle of creation as tiny seeds become food, flowers, orchards, vineyards, hedges and forests. A garden is for all people and for all time. Through it we learn respect for all living things. We learn to love ourselves and the earth from which we were created. Come, join us in the garden.

The time of the garden has arrived in City of Kawartha Lakes. A group of enthusiastic citizens along with The Health Unit, Fleming College and Toward Balance Support Network have begun the process of forming The City of Kawartha Lakes Community Gardens and we need your help. To us a garden provides wholesome food so fresh that you can hardly wait to get it home to the table, beauty that you have helped the earth to create, peace in the soul that only working with the earth itself can foster, hope for a world undiminished that our children can inherit, dreams fed from the very heart of nature of tolerance for all.

Every human being harbours a secret garden of the soul, a longing to make things grow and prosper, a need to connect to the earth. Children love to play in the dirt, often to their parentsí dismay. Yet children know a secret that we have forgotten. The earth is part of us all just as we are part of it. To be whole, to find balance, we must connect to the earth.

As a young child I can barely remember walking with my parents each day to our garden plot. They would plant and weed and harvest while I played in the dirt. I do remember growing beans with their help. We lived in a very small apartment with no space for a garden, so my parents rented a plot in a community garden. This space provided fresh food and flowers for the table. It isnít the food and flowers, however, that comes down through the years for me. It is that when I was a child my parents played with me in the dirt. We walked together, got dirty together, laughed together, and that made all the difference.

Now we want to start a community garden in the city. This garden could have one site or many depending on who wants to join us as we do it in the dirt. This is an opportunity for families to garden together with their neighbours, to eat and share food that they have grown, to beautify our community, to build dreams with their children, to enrich all of our lives, to help bond a city desperate to find its soul. Gardens can do this and more.

On Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 7 PM we will be holding a community meeting at The Health Unit in Lindsay to see who would like to make a garden grow. As I write, this garden sits without form. It needs us as much as we need it. To date there is only one rule. This garden must do no harm to the earth or any of its creatures. All other rules are yet to be written by those who would bring their children on a summer evening to coax food or flowers from the earth and to watch the sun set on all of the dayís activities.

For those that want to join us, come and bring your ideas and expertise. For those that want to learn more, come to see and hear the shape our garden will take. For those who know nothing about gardening but love good food and beautiful flowers, come to begin the process of learning the many ways that the earth longs to serve our needs. For those who, like me, had parents that taught them to love the land, who carry the memory of treasured evenings spent together making things grow, for those who just want to have all the fun of a treasure hunt of their own, join us. Leave your money at home. Come for the food, for the flowers, for the fun of getting an excuse to talk dirty. See you next time.

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