Rituals are a set of practices performed on a regular basis because they offer the participant a sense of comfort as well as representing some form of symbolism. All gardeners perform rituals in the process of gardening -- most of which go unnoticed. Getting in touch with one’s own rituals can offer us insight about our gardens and ourselves.
Tap into your rituals is by mentally observing yourself as you work in the garden this week. As soon as you note a ritual, quickly write it down. Later, once you're more relaxed, write more about your ritual(s) and what they mean to you.
Some of my idiosyncratic rituals are: laying out the tools that I think I will be utilizing for the project at hand and then returning to the garage to get a few extras (just in case I might need them for later). Another one of my practices is when I decide that it is time to finish gardening for the day, I continue to garden for a bit longer until I realize I really must stop; at which point I make a silent promise with myself that I will just finish weeding one more container full of weeds or potting up so many more plants or watering so many more containers; and then I really will close shop for the day.
It is that promise to myself and the completion of ‘one more task’ that are the essence of this ritual. Another one of my rituals is taking a final walk around the garden at the end of the day. I love to see my garden getting ready for night. I also silently tell my flowers to have a good night’s sleep. Sounds kind of goofy, huh? But in truth, each of these rituals is special to me and gives me a great deal of comfort both consciously and unconsciously.
In writing them down, it also gives me access to why I need to perform these rituals and what information it offers me about myself and how I relate to my garden.
Share your love of gardening and tell us about your garden rituals on the Garden Journals message board.