New Year musings with a magnolia planting, and John O’Donahue

by | Jan 1, 2014

“I’ve been squeezed dry,” I told a friend in Sydney yesterday as I hugged him hello.

I was invited to his garden on a whim to plant an “80 million year old” magnolia stellata, and celebrate with a glass of champagne. The original Granny Smith orchard once grew where it would be planted, where my friend’s house, and many others stand today.

I thought, yes, that will help me come back. And it did, a little, as gardening does. That’s two of those I’ve helped put into the ground in 2013. May she grow well.

I’d been running on empty for days, and badly needed my cave. Finally back home in the west “where heaven lies” a day later, this first day of the year, my entire being is sighing with relief. As I drove home from Perth, John O’Donohue’s musings were an inspiring salve; his eloquence and depth of perception move mountains in me.

On the benefits of meditation, after even just two weeks daily practice, he said:

Your mind, instead of being like a nuclear disco, becomes a place where some proportion is restored.

I was struck by the humour and gentle possibility conjure. It was just the thing to get this little ol’ lemon feeling like the juice is flowing back in. Inspired to rest a little, write, soul garden, create, and meditate.

Here’s to a year of restored proportion, within and without. For we all yearn for it soulfully, at some level, whether we know it or not. Here’s to cave time, and soul gardening. Seeding, planting out, tending, weeding, composting, harvesting. And so it must go, from season to season in our hearts and minds, as in the garden.

Recommended reading from Stellar Violets library by John O’Donohue: I return again and again to his book, To Bless the Space Between Us. There is something in there for all occasions.