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Thanksgiving – Gardening

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.


In his last movie Peter Sellers played the role of a life time as Chance in Being There. It was a convoluted and comic film, showing a mix of complicated people twisting themselves in knots and constantly misunderstanding the words and actions of a man who, at bottom, was as simple and regular as the seasons. That his occupation was as a gardener, working with nature and adapting to all circumstance, could at first glance appear a writer’s contrivance but Sellers inhabits the role so naturally it becomes a no brainer and strangely fitting. By movie’s end the serenity Sellers displays has us thinking we’d all like to become gardeners, perhaps in a similar vein to that When Harry Met Sally restaurant scene – “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Peter Sellers - Being There

Aside from the initial turbulence experienced in Eden, gardens have always been places of respite and peacefulness. The mix of colours, textures and the interplay of space, layout and materials all combine to provide a soothing aesthetic for the soul. Add to this the sound of wind breezing through the trees, birds bustling about the hedges and children playing games just far enough off to be enchanting and you have an oasis on your hands.

For the practitioners of the art there can be a zen-like state achieved from whiling away hours on your little gardening patch. Whilst no amount of gilding the lily will ever put weeding in a positive light, the satisfaction gained from mastering this piece of earth beneath your feet and ensuring it is turned out looking its best carries many people through a weekend. Better still if you have a comfortable squatter’s chair or a hammock to loll back into after the sweat has been raised.

To all those humble toilers in their backyards, and also to the designers of garden masterpieces like Paul Bangay, Made Wijaya, Rick Eckersley and Peter Fudge, we say thank you. If the earth’s lungs are found in its rainforests then urban human’s sanity is reclaimed in our gardens.

Previous thanksgiving article: Virtuosity

The season of Lent asks of us for sacrifice and the foregoing of many things, but an attitude of joy and gratitude should not be amongst them.

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

At the outset it should be made clear the viewpoints expressed here are a matter of individual opinion. If any one item doesn’t coincide with your own personal tastes then why not seek to better it with some thanksgiving of your own rather than a critique? You are always welcome to do so at the Archdiocesan website feedback mechanism.

So we invite you to come, walk with us awhile, and be thankful as we journey together to Calvary and beyond to Easter.

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