Beginner Tai Chi fire dragons struggling to fathom their yins and yangs, their lefts and rights, their norths and souths . . . . .
The fantasy garden was bigger, and full of sun
All its friends used only heritage seeds
Brimming with life
Producing abundance for table food and table flowers
The real garden is small, and in deep shade, nearly always
The sun just a little bit on summer mornings and afternoons even more briefly
In the real garden I plant anything I can buy in the nursery that promises to grow in shade
Regardless of pedigree and organic propriety
The fantasy garden had huge butternuts
And fragrant sweet peas
The real garden is full of moss and clover
Which I am weary to disturb, in case nothing else thrives
The real garden has stinging nettle
Not that I am an expert but I thought it might be and when I pulled it out I was stung
Yes! Grasping nettles
Which in the fantasy garden was going to grow freely among the spinach and
nourish me in nettle soups
Like Milarepa of old
The fantasy garden was rich with my home made compost
In the real garden every time I turn the soil
Fragments of rubble surface – remnants of an old house that was here before
Lucky in the real garden big fat earthworms
Do not snub the damp soil and broken tile fragments
The fantasy garden inspired its neighbours
To take up urban organic micro gardening
The real garden’s neighbours leave their patches fallow and crazy weeds growing
And wonderful spring flowers coming up by themselves
Gravity is the root of grace,
The mainstay of all speed.
A traveler of true means, whatever the day’s pace,
Remembers the provision-van . . . (The Way of Life – Witter Bynner translation)
Our provisions are water, soil, air and seed.
Blessings are rain, and earth worms, and live seeds and air we can breathe freely, wildly.
And the sunlight, waiting to be harvested freely and peacefully.
How to preach the obvious, without preaching. I don’t know.