Tom began with the
roots of words and of life,
connecting us again
to the earth, to the soil.

We are, after all,
of the earth, of the soil.
Dust... moving dust.

Humus - human - humble. Connected word roots.

Paying attention...
without labeling...
paying attention.

Experience child-like
the wonder,
the mystery,
the magic.

Keep it simple.

...But, being one with all the universe sometimes demands
an inner upheaval...
a sea-change...
a different paradigm.
I did however used to think, you know,
in the woods walking,
and as a kid playing in the woods,
that there was a kind of immanence there -
that woods, and places of that order,
had a sense, a kind of presence, that you could feel;
that there was something peculiarly, physically present,
a feeling of place almost conscious ... like God.
It evoked that.
Robert Creely
The humble broom -
a powerful symbol:
"If you clean the floor with love,
you have done an invisible painting."
Place has power.

Think of childhood places...

my big log in the northwoods,
the lower garden pea-patch,
a crawl-space between lilacs
and the stone smokehouse,
summer porch where Aunt Kay proudly paraded shiny Mason jars of newly put-up fruit jelly,
the trunk of an old apple tree,
granary attic and mewy kittens,
slough edged with cattails,
kitchen warmed by bread baking in the big iron stove and Mom heating the flatirons on it to press the stiff, white sheets,
old gray '36 chevy coupe that I drove once with my big brother,
upstairs in the farmhouse where hammock-like beds smelled of family and moth-balled quilts,
white one-room schoolhouse
and hearing far-off loons calling.
"Life to us is a symbol to be lived."

Invest meaning - Think symbolically
A place that is meaningful.
Where is your home?
Gardens are an act of co-creation,
but they are different from nature...
We are not recreating the woods!
But we are symbolizing the mountains, sea, sky, clearing, islands, woods, trail, promontory, cove or cave.

Use simple ideas - use one big idea and repeat it.
Creation wants to be round...
earth, council circles, gathering around

Universal symbols are common garden elements:

Water: creek/sea/fountain/stream/pond
Promontory: mountain/hill/view/tower
Protected spot: cove/cave/ravine/grove of trees/
deep woods/island/walled garden
Trails: journey/adventure/connections/take us places
Garden outside the Sanctuary at the Crossings
One of the symbols in the Sanctuary stone wall
Soul of the Garden website
The Crossings Austin website
Be sure to visit the next 2 pages about this Soul of the Garden weekend retreat
Soul of the Garden
Pocketful of Poems
Making Plans
Convent News
Spring Madness
Garden Metaphors
Crossings Retreat
Garden Ideas
Garden Tour
Passion on the Porch
Luncheon Date
Liz Carpenter
Walk in the Park
Garden Hour
Wildflower Evening
Divine Portals
Totems & Vessels
Flower Stars
Longing for Lilacs
Earth Healing
64 Things at 64
Umlauf Garden
Spirit of the Garden
Taniguchi Garden
Healing Garden
Spirit of Place
Garden Refuge
Living Strong
Son on the Move
Spirituality & Nature
Family Rosary
Soul Point
Month of Sorrows
Forever Friends
Small World
retreat with Tom Spencer
My Holy Tree
Not Afraid of the Dark