Artists in the Garden

Today was a very good day. The community garden at Fleming College hosted artists in the garden. Guest artists set up the most beautiful paintings, pastels, sculptures, sketches and photographs among the garden plots, then described their styles and media to the gathered audience, the perfect marriage of art and nature.

We talked, laughed, ate and got to know one another better. Artists and gardeners belong together as partners in creation, only the media that we use vary. Art, whatever the medium, is a gift from the infinite soul to all humanity. In this shadow world of our creation we often forget that the only activities that have real and lasting value are those that feed the body, those that feed the soul and those that nurture hope in our children.

The current debate on the arts seems to have focused solely on their ability to create economic activity. What a shallow interpretation that is. In fact the arts reflect not just who we truly are but who we are capable of being. They are our guides through a dark wood. Long after princes and prime ministers have passed out of mind the artists of our time will be remembered, for their gifts nurture the infinite promise within us all.

So, thank you to the artists who came to share our picnic today. Thanks to the members of the public who came out to see the paintings and to stroll through the gardens. Thanks to the gardeners who came to act as our guides and to show off their own artistry. Gardeners and artists really do share the same act of creation.

I’m home now, walking the dogs and watching the setting sun, chores all done. Now it’s the sun’s turn to fill my senses with long shadows across the field, light flashing off the roof of our neighbour’s barn, my own garden bathed in stillness and the air ever changing from gold to pink to violet to dusk. It has been a very good day. See you next time.

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