Since the transformation of our garden to a mandala system back in March the garden has yielded very little. The focus has been on getting all the infrastructure in place. We now have the beds, paths, chickens & tractor, grass barriers, pond and recently seedling table. So we are pretty close to complete, or as close to it as a garden ever gets. None of these things seem fully complete though and there always seems to be something cropping up, like a replacement roosting perch for the chooks. I am however learning to accept that a garden is never complete and thus these are not disappointments or set backs at all. Rather opportunities to learn and grow as a gardener.
A friend was once telling me about his Japanese garden and some of the zen concepts behind it. Apparently the aim is to complete the garden by making it perfect, while at the same time knowing full well that perfection doesn’t exist. He said he would often move a single stone one inch to the left then back a bit the very next day. The zen of striving to obtain what is unattainable enables one to obtain it right now. His mere attempt at the perfect garden has created the perfect garden all along. If that makes any sense? As a result his Japanese garden brings him peace and relaxation.
Typically allot of my undertakings are more project like with a distinct start and a clear end. This appeals to my creative side that often gets bored and wants to move on to the next great idea. Gardening I have found has lots of opportunities for me to express this creativity but also comprises of allot of constant repetitive duties, and definitely has no end. I do think it is important to focus at getting things organised prior to starting but with spring only inches away I think the time has come for me to shift that focus and get sowing.
I have been reading some of the tales from the Arabian Nights to the children. The book I am reading them from has these interesting little factual notations after each story. Last night, and half way through writing this post, I read them 'The garden of enchantments' and would you believe one of the notes was this:
"In the Islamic faith, striving to achieve a perfect garden symbolized trying to achieve perfection of the soul. Farizad’s garden, though beautiful, is incomplete and this reflects her life." Very appropriate I thought.
So is your garden complete or perfect? Now answer wisely.