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Emerson Avenue Community Garden

I am Planting a Garden, by Heidi Rose

I ran across this poem a friend wrote several years ago. I read it through again and felt it went right to the heart of what every gardener must be feeling in anticipation of spring. The excitement of new journeys, the fear of failure (yet again), and the burning desire to get out there in the garden right now; all of these feelings are swirling about. This poem reminds us that patience, trial and error, and suspense are all part of gardening.

My friend Heidi Rose is a poet, a wonderfully intuitive woman, awesome mom, astrologer and inspirational speaker. She also conducts Radiant Life Workshops for women in Ojai, CA. You can read more of her poems here:


I’m Planting a Garden

I who have managed
to let die
most every green thing
to cross my path,
am planting a garden.

I’ll admit
I may be starving
for the metaphor.

But let’s just say
I’m hungry for lush green,
ripe goodness
and plenty of it.

I’m surely not aware
what it will take
but will share with you now
what I do know
so we are all certain
I gave it my best shot.

I imagine it must go something
like this:

Choose good ground,
ground that invites you.
Even if it appears empty
know full well it is not,
nor ever has been.

Soften the soil.
Mix it up.
Let it run through your fingers.
Give that earth some air
so it welcomes what you wish to plant.

I was going to say
plant the seed.
But already–
I’m getting ahead of myself.

Choose it first.marigoldseeds
Choose with care.
You can scatter random seeds without thought,
but that’s not the garden you’re planting now.

What bounty is your whole body yearning
to receive?
Choose it.
Remember that sometimes it looks like
what it will become and sometimes not.

Then, yes,
plant it.
Plant the tiny seed.
Note that you won’t ever see that
seed again in such a potent form.
Trust enough to let the ground swallow it.

Cover it up
with a wish.
Or a prayer.
Or your fingers crossed.
Pat it with firm hands.
Acknowledge the sun and welcome it.
Moisten the earth with a hose or tears
or dance the dance of rain.

And then wait.
And listen.
And listen.
And wait.

Keep it company with a song
or children playing in the sprinkler,
with hammock Sundays,
with a few good poems.

Listen, just for kicks,
for the seed cracking open,
feel for the texture of life unfolding,
try to catch the uncatchable moment
when green bursts through silent earth.

And then can you do this?

Swiss chard seedlingWelcome innocence.
Welcome fragility.
Welcome awe.

Don’t know what to do.
But do it anyway.

Guard growth like a fierce mama bear.
Avoid excessive exposure to unrelenting heat.
Offer shade with the fullness of your quiet body.
Avoid deluge.
Nourish with drops.

Wait and listen.
Wait and listen.
Because here’s where it’s easy to blow it.

Don’t get distracted with the full, fecund
farmer’s market basket of plenty
spilling out endless bounty
ready for consumption.

Just be curious about your babies,
curious in a way those that lift us most
ask us questions,
questions that touch the seedling
of our strength and allow it to sing to the sun.

I’d say absolutely
expect blossoming,
outrageous blossoming
all in good time.

But remember the

Time is good.
It grows things.
It grows us.
It does not run out
but runs with us


Have you heard time’s song?
He is singing to you now.
He is not counting hours.
He is singing to you.

And even when the seedling,
sprout, life insisting on life
stretches to a fullness
in which most who see it say
“Well, look at you. So glorious.
So bright. So full. How did you do it?
How are you doing it? Just keep it up, up, up.”

Don’t go there.
Run with time freely and joyously.
Breathe in these moments
of strength.
Don’t draw any conclusions.
Don’t get distracted.
Don’t assume that now is the time
to push for the prize.

Now is the time
to sit with the growing beauty.
To sit still, not knowing.
To sit, still not knowing.

Water and listen.
Water and listen.

And do the work,wateringforagemix
the practice,
of yanking the cut throat weeds
that grow swiftly and without care.

Because you care.
You care deeply.
But show this in the daily hours of living
not in every moment’s fret.

Feed what is growing.
Walk in sunlight.
Notice the breath that moves in and
the breath that is released.

And then,
And now,

Wake up
one morning
dear one
and run out of doors.
There, on this day when you
expect it least,
you will find yourself
standing in a garden
of your own allowing.

Your work,
your love
your daily necessities
all woven inseparably
into every thriving thing.

And your blossom,
dear love,
full, lavish, distinct.

Emerson Avenue Community Garden

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Carrie Manaugh

    Thank you Christy for posting this beautiful poem.

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