Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Garden Cultivates Pure Joy

If you are at all interested in gardening, you will love this hardcover book for your library. It features full-color photography of breathtaking gardens, images of vintage seed packets, magazine illustrations, as well as essays written about famous gardeners, such as the amazing Tasha Tudor. and at least one essay written by a not-so-famous one, which would be me, yours truly.

How my work came to be included in this collection was one of those unexpected God surprises that I still find amazing. I posted about it in another blog community way back in 2006 when the book was first being put together. Maybe one day I will share that miracle here, since I am no longer active in the "other" blog community. It involved important editor people frombelieve it or notBetter Homes and Gardens magazine, so ... see? A miracle, oh yes indeed.

Since the book's publication in 2008, whenever gardening season rolls around, I find myself drawn to its charming pages once again. I hope you enjoy a peek inside the book, and will join me for a stroll through a couple of my flower gardens. I'm sharing a few passages from my essay titled, "A Garden Cultivates Pure Joy," from Page 223 of the book.


"I had always dreamed of a yard filled with flowers, but I knew nothing about gardening, and with a toddler to chase all day, I wondered if there would ever be time for such things."
~ Dayle Allen Shockley

"I forgot all about flowerbeds until one spring morning when I walked to the front door and saw Amy, my neighbor across the street, digging in the dirt around a couple of rose bushes. She appeared to be working hard, but I noticed a pleasant look on her face."
~ Dayle Allen Shockley


"It wasn’t a big garden, nor all that fancy, but it was mine. I gladly fed and watered. I pruned and weeded. And I was not disappointed. The more I offered the seedlings, the more they yielded."
~ Dayle Allen Shockley


"I feel more alive in my garden than anywhere in the world."

~ Dayle Allen Shockley


"It’s a lot like raising a child. You’re contributing to the cycle of life, connected to something much bigger than yourself. And when you walk outside and see an orderly assortment of colors and textures, where chaos once reigned, it leaves you breathless."
~ Dayle Allen Shockley




"As I piled up spent blooms and pesky weeds on the ground beside me, my heart felt noticeably lighter. Liberated. Alive. Somewhere inside of me, a channel seemed to open up. Before long, I began talking to God as I worked."
~ Dayle Allen Shockley



"The very act of gardening is an exercise in hope. It is a lesson to the human spirit about turning nothing into something spectacular."
~ Dayle Allen Shockley




Taken from the essay, “A Garden Cultivates Pure Joy,”
by Dayle Allen Shockley, as seen in the book,
 The Gardener’s Bedside Reader, Kari Cornell, editor
(Voyageur Press 2008).

All rights reserved.

***

This post is part of the weekly series, "Outdoor Wednesday,"
hosted by Susan at A Southern Daydreamer.
Also linking up with "Wordful Wednesday," at Seven Clown Circus.





19 comments:

  1. That was great, Dayle. Photos were lovely, too. Susan

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  2. Thank you, Dayle, for contributing the beautiful pictures and for the comments on the benefits of gardening. I agree that there can be a special fellowship with the Father as we work with creation. Can you only imagine the pleasure Adam and Eve had before the fall? Thanks for your comment on my post. I am a new follower!

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  3. I so enjoy this whole story. Before I finished today's post, I clicked the link and read about the essay and the little surprise that God planned for you then. (I love, love, love, stories of what my friends and I call "God things.")

    Today's post with the pictures and passages was a wonderful one to read. I'm not that gardener type of that you describe, but I garden because I love the idea of doing the appropriate thing with my hands and God's earth, if that makes sense.

    You are such a wonderful writer!

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  4. Please excuse the typing errors. Clearly, I need an editor myself.

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  5. I love this post! I'm going to try and find the book. Sometimes I look at taking care of my garden as such a chore, but it's so pretty this year and has been such a comfort during recent trying times. Thank you for such beautiful words!

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  6. Forcibly made to pull weeds and plant six-packs by the age of 8 or so, I have been digging in the dirt a long, long time.

    You don't have to force me anymore - out there with the wind blowing and the sound of my waterfall is peace, and my soul can breathe. 14 minutes playing in the dirt is good medicine for a tired heart.

    This was a lovely reminder for what I love about my garden!

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  7. Dayle,
    Just digging in the dirt and planting, weeding and working in my little garden gives me so much pleasure and your essay and pictures inspire me even more! Thanks for stopping by and saying "hi!" I am so happy to have "met" you!


    Jean

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  8. I have wanted to plant flowers for years, but I have never really had a place. We are moving into a new home and the previous owner has a whole bed of annuals. I am so excited to really see what she has and how I can add to it in years to come. I would love to see this book. I might have to get it before next year.

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  9. Love this:
    "It wasn’t a big garden, nor all that fancy, but it was mine. I gladly fed and watered. I pruned and weeded. And I was not disappointed. The more I offered the seedlings, the more they yielded."

    I was thinking about how this really was a lot like raising little ones and then as I kept reading, you said just that! What a beautiful post!

    Thanks for your sweet words at Chatting At the Sky today. I was so blessed!

    Thanks,
    Stacey

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  10. Lovely photos. The flowers are beautiful.

    Jocelyn
    http://justalittlesouthernhospitality.blogspot.com/

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  11. The flowers are beautiful and what a wonderful essay you wrote. I will try to find that book.

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  12. This made me smile and almost laugh aloud. I like to garden , but I have to do it very quickly. I really should be a mosquito zapper--I have something in my chemistry that just attracts them to me! Even repellent does not work well. ....and then there are the fireants. I now do most of my garding in pots! Mainly because of the fireants. I have done a link to my nannykim blog for the linkup, but if you would like to see a bit of my garden there is a pic on the sidebar of my spindlecottage blog. I do believe another blogger has mentioned this book before.

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  13. Oh my gosh, Dayle, this is so beautiful...what gorgeous pictures and the story is amazing too! This is indeed, an inspirational place and a reminder that it is so important to connect with the nature...

    (You won't believe it, but I just made a collection of tags called "The Naturels" yesterday and posted them today for those of us who receive such joy from nature.

    Thank you so much for joining us...it has been pure joy to see this!
    Hugs and blessings,
    Cindy

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  14. What a lovely book, thank you for your wonderful post!
    Leticia

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  15. This is such a lovely looking book. My senior mom loves gardening! She would love to see this book. Thank you for letting us know about it.

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  16. Your whole blog is an inspiration to me, Dayle.

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  17. Hello, I'm Margaret and i'm visiting from Cindy's I Owe it All to Him. I enjoyed visiting with you today!

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Dear Readers, I adore your company and your comments. If you ask questions here, I respond to them here, so please check back when you have a chance. Kind regards, Dayle