Reviews - What do customers think about Tending the Earth, Mending the Spirit: The Healing Gifts of Gardening?
Highly recommended reading for gardeners Feb 10, 2001
In Tending The Earth, Mending The Spirit: The Healing Gifts Of Gardening, Connie Goldman and Richard Mahler successfully collaborate to explore the enduring wisdom and spiritual growth that simple gardening nurtures. We are introduced to a host of gardeners who have learned nature's lessons of the natural order of things. These are powerful reflections on the sacredness of a mindful relationship with the natural world, from preparing the soil, to planting the seed, to nurturing the plant, to savoring the garden, to the harvest and conclusion of the cycle of life made manifest in the seasons of the garden. Tending The Earth, Mending The Spirit is highly recommended reading for gardeners, students of spirituality, as well as seekers of personal harmony and recovery from the stresses of their lives.
Green Acres, copper tacks, and stardust.... Jan 28, 2001
Back in the 1960s, Eddie Albert starred in a tv show called "Green Acres" about a city slicker who moved to the country with his classy wife and tried to become a farmer. The show was funny, but I did not know until I read TENDING THE EARTH, MENDING THE SPIRIT by Connie Goldman and Richard Mahler, that Albert was a bona fide garderner--big time.
Goldman and Mahler have interviewed dozens of gardeners all over the U.S. (some like Albert, May Sarton, and Lama Surya Das are famous, and others not), and asked a fundamental question, "Why do you garden?" The answers they gathered together in this book are not surprisingly different. Rich and poor, famous and not so famous, most folks find gardening a way to restore the spirit and flex the soul.
Gardening leads to the contemplation the meaning of life. Real gardening is not a war with bugs, it's a practice that reflects one's growing awareness of the creator's handiwork. The authors note that some Eastern mystics think the gardener is the last reincarnation. The gardener is acutely aware of the cycle of life, the intricate web of connectedness between and among all living things. The gardener knows human beings are not the center of the universe, and that all living things are precious. It would seem one is nearer God's heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.
And, the earth is the Garden of Eden. It seems we weren't thrown out afterall. It's just that we fell from grace and many of us are unable to recognize the garden is still all around us. Original sin is the egocentric destruction the garden. We were charged to be stewards, but we often behave like naughty children smashing our toys. And, sadly, most humans may not recognize this truth until it's too late--the enemy is us.
How do humans change and reconnect with the Garden of Eden? The authors tell of kids and adults turning garbage strewn lots into green spaces in the center of the city (Thank you Bette Midler and The Trust for Public Land). They interview the infirm, physically handicapped, mentally challenged--all of whom have been helped through gardening. They talk to older folks who've moved to apartments or retirement homes, and found restoration in a potted plant in a windowsill, a container garden, or a small plot they tend on the grounds of their new logdings. They tell of prisoners and inmates in mental hospitals grow better after they are provided with access to a garden. And, they interview the average gardener who lives with the ordinary loss, pain, and stress of daily living. More than one over-taxed soul has been restored by reconnecting with nature.
As Lama Surya Das, says "Gardening gets us back to the source from whence we came." The garden allows one to act like an innocent child again, to celebrate the sense of awe and wonder. Gardening allows you to find your origins as a human being--to find your real roots.
This is a HAZELDON book--wonderful for anyone in recovery.
HORTICULTURAL THERAPY AND MORE! Oct 20, 2000
I like to work in my garden and have often felt the soothing touch of soil on my fingertips as I placed my plants in the earth, watering them with care; observing the gentle breeze in the air, the sunlight and chirping of nearby birds. So peaceful, so tranquil, a reminder of the beauty and perpetual order of nature. In this book, gardeners talk abut the spiritual and healing aspects of gardening. Some mention how working in the garden offers solace in times of grief and provides lessons about the seasons, the cyclical nature of life. Ms Goldman writes "Gardening evokes these deeper feelings. It helps people see that there is another area to life where you can nurture yourself." Step away from the hectic pressure of your daily life, when you can-- relieve the stress, plant something in your garden. It's exercise, its nice, its comforting. Did you know that petunias can perk you up? And wasn't there a sacred song with a lyric, " One is nearer God's heart in a garden- than any where else on earth?" No wonder home gardening is so beneficial in so many ways for so many people. I enjoyed this book and the collection of personal experience stories shared by Ms. Goldman. Take a look. You may find something in this book for you and your garden can be beautiful and abundant also.
Touches the Soul May 11, 2000
Connie Goldman's radio experience shows through in this book-it's not a book written about gardening, or even a book written by Connie Goldman about the spiritual aspects of gardening. Rather, it's a book written by gardeners-many of them. Using the words expressed by numerous gardners in interviews with her, the author allows regular people to voice what it is about gardening that makes them so passionate about it. If you've ever gardened, you'll find yourself crying "yes-that's it" over and over as you read the book. A wonderful gift, for yourself or another gardner.