“Solitude is an essential experience for the mind to organize its own processes and create an internal state of resonance. In such a state, the self is able to alter its constraints by directly reducing the input from interactions with others”
– Daniel J. Siegel (American clinical professor of psychiatry and mindfulness advocate.)
Gardening can be a solitary pastime, but is rare we feel alone there. The garden is a comforting space, full of your creativity and your nurturing care, there are times it wraps its arms back around you as you have done for it but being a gardener is also an endeavour developmental of a resilient nature – we work it alone, we spend our time there often in silence and abstract of wows. In times of stress and pain, a step out into the garden refires that long wired aspect – the solace button is pushed.
Many of the great mystics found solace in their silence and solitude – in the quiet alone there is personal renewal. In the quite alone there is a deepening of the grace of self-strength – of bringing to the moment your capacity for unfretful stillness and spiritual grounding – of being here/there no matter what. That’s not just a comfort that’s fortitude.
“Solitude is a silent storm that breaks down all our dead branches; yet it sends our living roots deeper into the living heart of the living earth”
– Khalil Gibran (Lebanese-American writer and poet.)
Gardening strengthens our capacity to be alone – that does not mean to become loners and removed from sociability, it means not being desperate to never be alone for fear of loneliness or what you might begin to feel or think if left to your own devices. It is self-confidence. It is self-awareness. It is replenishing.
There is no fear of missing out when you are busy pruning a bush or planting up a planter. No need to find out what’s going on beyond – it is all here, all you need, all that needs you – the union of self and true nature. In the solitude of the garden there is the escape from the noise of the constructed and confounding world. The quiet alone is music to many ears.
“When from our better selves we have too long
been parted by the hurrying world, and droop,
sick of its business, of its pleasures tired,
how gracious, how benign, is solitude”
― William Wordsworth (English poet)