Native Sycamore love in late season foliage, late day light.
It is the thankful season. In a year and a time where what divides us, what defeats, disgusts, and drains us is often top of mind, I am deeply thankful to be able to offer my work and days to the purpose of reminding us as gardeners of this calling we Love, of what this Love brings to bear on the larger world and its many needs.
To be able to invest my words and ways into elevating encouraging and expanding what we deem gardening to be, gardeners to look or sound like, and our gardens' incredible capacities to contribute to healing, beautiful, and abundant solutions.
Native wetland Cattail love.
You as listeners and gardening souls who show up and offer out encouragement to me in this work mean a Great Big Deal to me and my ability to stick with this.
Trust me - Katie (and Edwina and Page and others) who drove from New York to Great Barrington, MA last Sunday to participate in an ecological gardening symposium and who went out their way to offer out affirmation for the fact of Cultivating Place - you made my day. You filled my fuel bucket to keep showing up. Every person who showed up to my more than 36 presentations this calendar year, you meant a GREAT BIG DEAL to me.
How often do we complain of what ails the world and fail to acknowledge the many many lives that are doing right, doing great, growing good? I know I fail more frequently than I'd like. We all sometimes forget to focus on what we love not as an avoiding what we're fighting non-stop to make better, but as a way to remind ourselves that there is progress in the deeply rooted direction we're growing for. There are voices and gardens/gardeners rising in the right direction too.
I had this email this morning from Emily, an elder in my community: "Dear Jennifer, I am so moved as I am listening to Cultivating Place this morning, (11/21). Starting several months ago, reading The Overstory, moving on to Finding the Mother Tree, then Braiding Sweet Grass and Farming While Black, now being introduced to the Kinship Series, and hearing about The Dawn of Everything-A New History of Humanity - I am inspired that beneath the frightening and terrible things happening in our world, climate change, acceleration of violence, proliferation of guns, anger and greed, voting rights under serious attach - there is this growing network arising of a deep awareness of the miracle of life on this magical planet we live on, our Mother Earth . This quiet, beneath the headlines movement gives me hope for our future. As well as doing my best to integrate this earth magic in my own life, I am committed to gathering these amazing reading materials to pass along to my grandchildren and future generations. At 80, as I become increasingly aware of my mortality, I feel this is the best legacy I can pass along. Somehow, in the midst of all the negativity, I do now believe the spirit of love and kindness, wonder, and gratitude for the gifts of life will prevail. Thank you for your part in accelerating this quiet magic movement of earth-based spirit. In appreciation, Emily"
It made me cry. Really.
And it reminded me to reach out to those souls growing us along together to offer out my own appreciation - including reaching back out to Emily.
Love Mural in Chico, CA.
I wanted to leave you with these words from Indigenous gardener, seedkeeper, poet, philosopher and inspiration Rowen White from my conversation with her and Gavin Van Horn about their roles in the newly published Kinship: Belonging in a World Of Relations 5-volume series:
”It’s my prayer for each and everyone of you who are listening and for each and everyone of you who pick up these Kinship volumes at the right time in your life, it’s my prayer that you feel the rehydration of the seeds of memory inside the earth of your body and that in whatever way feels in alignment that you feel that your voice is also needed as a part of this larger conversation of kinning, of kinship, of reweaving that web…. We do not forget that in every moment, we are held within this exquisite web of kinship.”
My prayer for all you who listen to CP is so very similar, and I am Thankful to know you are all out there listening, growing together, showing up in Love and fierce good Gardening determination to help us all grow better.
Jennifer & The Cultivating Place Team
LINKS to October & November (so far) 2021 CULTIVATING PLACE PROGRAMS
(just click the live link that is the green title of each program to get to the audio file and listen in....)
Fall foliage and fruit under the seasonal light of the November full moon.
Cultivating Place is made possible in part by listeners like you and by generous support from the American Horticultural Society. Soon to Celebrate its 100th anniversary next year, AHS has been a trusted source of high quality gardening and horticultural information since 1922. Today, AHS’s mission blends education, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship with the art and practice of horticulture. Members of AHS receive the award-winning flagship magazine, The American Gardener, free admission and other discounts to more than 345 public gardens with the Reciprocal Admissions Program, plus discounts on books, seeds, programs and more!
Listeners of Cultivating Place can receive a $10 discount on the annual individual membership of $35, by visiting www.ahsgardening.org/CP For your annual Membership to the American Horticultural Society for the special Cultivating Place rate of just $25 a year, head over to www.ahsgardening.org/CP.
Cultivating Place is also proud to receive support from the California Native Plant Society, on a mission to save California’s native plants and places using both head and heart. CNPS brings together science, education, conservation, and gardening to power the native plant movement. California is a biodiversity hotspot and CNPS is working to save the plants that make it so.
For more information on their programs and membership, please visit https://www.cnps.org/
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