In this the 25th year of my father’s passing away, I remember the amazing garden he nurtured in Athi River, Kenya, now a million years ago, it seems. As kids we enjoyed walking through his veggie patch, showing it off to our visitors and seeing the marvel of growing beans, cucumbers, spinach and so much more. The indelible picture of Papaji tending to the patch of land around our bungalow with gusto, is etched in my memory.
‘Personal’ gardens often come to the fore in our minds, enchanting our present with the love we’ve experienced in the past.
My Aunt’s garden in Nairobi South, Kenya is another unforgettable childhood memory. The most beautiful, big, red roses greeted us at the front entrance of Mamiji’s home, whilst a vigorous passion-fruit vine adorned the car port which led to a yard lined with paw paw trees around the back fence. A garden in which we played ‘house games’ for hours on end whilst our Aunt looked after Mum at the birth of our youngest sibling.
Gardens made so much more enchanting because of the love that flowed out to us from the gardener.
‘Dadirri’ for Australia Day
Miriam-Rose’s story for ‘Celebrate Australia Day’ reflects on the vast open garden of her hometown in the Daly River region in Northern Territory, Australia and points out the importance of ‘inner deep listening and quiet still awareness’ also known as ‘Dadirri’.
‘When I experience dadirri, I am made whole again. I can sit on the riverbank or walk through the trees; even if someone close to me has passed away, I can find my peace in this silent awareness. There is no need of words. A big part of dadirri is listening.’
I am strong ….
Enchanting, ‘personal’ gardens! – our life-line in the most difficult and isolating times.
Walking into 2021, a year that spells yet another phase of the pandemic challenge of vaccines, quarantines and lockdowns, may we be filled with the fruits of our chosen ‘enchanted gardens’ – fruits of love, joy and peace.
…. I am strong, when I am on your shoulders
You raise me up to more than I can be
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas….
lyrics by Josh Groban
To heal, we must remember
President Joe Biden January 2021