Our not-so-secret Garden – Prepping the Gan Emunah on Olam Ha Mitzvot

Yes, there were ten people who actually were glad to see the rain this past week! These people were Temple members, young and old, who helped prepare the garden for spring during Olam HaMitzvot. Branche

s were removed, compost spread and two new pots near the bench were planted with Rosemary, Lavender and Pansies. For his bar mitzvah project, Miles Hart planted herbs in seven large pots to be used in the Monday Meal. Plants are starting to push up through the ground. Every day in the garden will be changing with the warming weather.

So come and enjoy your garden. Come early to a meeting and sit on the bench. Linger with the kids after picking them up and let them run in the grass while you sit and take in the garden. When walking in the neighborhood, stop by and sit for ten minutes. While many of us grew up seeking out new experiences and stimulation, the world has changed so that now we need moments of quietude. We need an escape from stimulation, noise, tasks and the tyranny of constant details of living. Sit in the garden. Research has shown that after ten or fifteen minutes of being in nature and quiet, blood pressure goes down, mood lightens, creativity improves, and you sleep better that night. The need is there for us to escape the pressures of our society as clearly laid out in Rabbi Goldberg’s new book, Saying No and Letting Go: Jewish Wisdom and Text on Doing Much More with Less. Children need to learn to be comfortable with quiet and contemplate with their surroundings. In our country, children are losing the ability to focus on details and find subtleties without noise and movement. The book by Richard Louv, published in 2005, No Child Left Indoors, argues the importance of exposing children to nature to help them “quiet themselves and their minds.” So come into the garden. You might meet a friend there or one of the ten folks who already know what a treasure it is!

(The entrance is at the break in the fence, just to the right of the Stratford entrance door)

Katherine Billingham is a member of Eco Chavura and Sisterhood. In addition to being an avid gardener, she is also a psychologist, a wife and mother of two young adults and a painter.