Conversations With Nature: Can You Hear It?

by Darlene Nicholson


Book Details

The Spiritual Potential of Nature

Conversations with Nature introduces you to the wonder of the familiar, through the eyes of Master Gardener Darlene Nicholson and her boundless curiosity about the small miracles of the natural world. Can we gain insight, joy, and even spiritual inspiration from these everyday masterpieces? This exquisite collection of photographs and meditations invites you to contemplate the wonder of the world around you—to find your own unique lens to explore the facets of Nature that inspire and enlighten you.


Book Excerpt

Weed . . .The Verb I think the consensus is that most people like flowers and plants. I also think that most non-gardeners want a beautiful garden that requires little or no maintenance. However, to imagine a living thing requiring no maintenance is a kind of disconnect from Nature herself. What may discourage many people from putting in a garden of their own is the chore that is usually dreaded: weeding. But, might we see the act of weeding as something restorative, rather than toilsome and mind-numbing? I confess that I didn't always enjoy weeding. I just considered it a necessary chore, But I have come to think of weeding differently. Weeding my garden gives me permission to have acceptable down time, looking like I'm hard at work as I slowly transition to meditative time and allow my body and mind to wander through the plants and touch the soil rooting me to a different world. I begin to feel as if I am cleaning out all of the unwanted minutiae in my mind to make it available for new growth. The physical act of weeding somehow helps me to reconnect to myself. When i begin, a million thoughts pop in and out of my head. Sometimes a song from my past, with seemingly no relevance to my present state, will play over and over, mimicking the garlic mustard and thistle, garlic mustard and thistle, garlic mustard that I weed. As I edit the garden of weeds from the original ideas that I planted, the plants are once again enhanced by the uncluttered space. The song in my head has vanished. Now the planted idea has more room to flourish, I see that I have extracted all the ground ivy and dangling participles, allowing a beautiful moment of clarity and intention in my garden and in my life. I will completely enjoy this fleeting time before the weeds return.


About the Author

Darlene Nicholson

Darlene Nicholson earned a master’s of education degree from Towson State University and a master’s in art therapy at George Washington University. She taught art in the Maryland State education system for 35 years. In 2011, she completed the University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener Program and changed her art medium to macro photography, which provided the intimate expression she was searching for. Her college training and experiences in art, photography, education, and gardening have given her the unique perspective shared in this book.