by Gunilla Norris
New York: Bluebridge Books, 2006
A Mystic Garden was originally published in 2006 but was released this year in paperback. Honestly, it has been sitting in my “to-be-reviewed” pile for a while. I grabbed it recently and thought, “Wow – I guess I should have picked this up in the spring,” but then I opened it up and discovered Norris traced her work in her garden over the course of a year and began November 1st. Perfect!
Anyone who enjoys working in a garden will enjoy the meditations in this book. As Norris writes:
A garden tends to get inside us. If we go there to accomplish something or get something, the garden soon becomes a burden. With expectations that it must look good or that it has to produce no matter what, we will soon grow tired. The garden is really a place in which we can give ourselves away. This is true of any serious contemplation, too. We are transformed by it. We are reduced and revealed by it. In it we may experience a lived sense of our connection to the earth, to our inner freedom, and to the Sacred, the ground of our existence. . . Gardening brings food and flowers to the table and sustenance to the soul.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the beautiful pencil drawings by John Giuliani. They are simple, but elegant, and add so much to the text.