Please enjoy reflections and photos from Notre Dame gardens in California, Ohio, Massachusetts and Virginia. I think it is safe to say that we can all use a good news story that is real and true and uplifting at this time.
To me, gardening is joining hands with the God I cannot see. Touching the soil, planting the seeds, watering and protecting the seedlings, and watching young plants as they grow brings joy to my heart. Being in touch with nature is meditation with the Creator. It can demand patience as well as thrill one with surprise. It doesn’t always go (or grow) as I expect. That’s all of life. But sometimes it surpasses my expectations.
Sister Florence Maier – Cincinnati, Ohio
This summer our porch garden in Dorchester, Massachusetts, including a prodigious tomato plant, provided a close and life-giving connection to nature after days spent in ministry, connecting electronically or keeping a social distance.
Sisters Maria Delaney, Cathy Gallivan, Mary Jonson – Dorchester, Massachusetts
The earth is a great teacher. We can learn from observing aspects of our environment. I find it healing to walk outside and to tend the garden. It brings a sense of peace especially in this time of chaos. We have a large garden here in Virginia, but just planting one lemon seed in a pot and watching it grow can be awesome. This experience is available to everyone by taking one seed such as an orange seed and putting into a pot with soil and watching it grow. The process of connecting with even one plant can be a life-changing experience.
Sister Teresa Murphy – Chase City, Virginia
Being in the garden is second nature to me. It is something I have done since I was a young girl following the tradition set by my grandmother. Gardening has a way of offering peace and oneness with nature. It requires patience and the willingness to be observant and to take things day by day. I love to find new garden approaches that are in harmony with nature and I enjoy sharing the vegetables and plants from the garden with others.
Sister Mary Friel – Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
Over the past months I have planted flowers and herbs in whatever space I could find outside our apartments, to the delight and often with the advice of tenants. One sunflower grew to nine feet. Whenever I work with soil, plant a seed or a pot of flowers, I think of Dot Stang and how she planted nut seeds with the farmers. However small the action it is caring for life at that moment and giving joy and hope to others.
Sister Carol Shoup – San Jose, California