On Saturday, August 28th, members of St. Margaret's and residents of Hineni House had a work party for our church grounds and the lovely backyard at the house, culminating in a backyard Eucharist. It was so special to see everyone in person after only seeing faces in Zoom windows for so long!
I had a real blast poking around the Hineni backyard. I wouldn't say I have a green thumb but I definitely aspire to, and while I love plants and gardening the only space I have of my own at home is a balcony. It's totally different to be able to actually get down into the dirt. Local Metis herbalist and Indigenous plant scholar Lori Snyder told me once that science had shown dirt to have beneficial enzymes that improve not just physical health but our actual mood when we dig around in it! That's why I often forego the gardening gloves!
The backyard at Hineni House, while neatly mowed, has been growing a lot of invasives lately, and I'm in the process of exploring and cataloguing the many plants that are growing there. It's a real playground because it has a wide variety of zones providing different levels of light, from full sun to deep shade. It also has a lot of indigenous plants, even a few with medicinal properties, growing in it that should stay - the world needs far more gardens that allow for the growth of indigenous plant life.
As I pruned back the many MANY blackberry tangles (don't worry, the residents enjoyed the best of the crop already!) and the ivy and identified plants unknown to me and began the process of liberating the herb garden from a tangle of weeds, it occurred to me that each person who comes to Hineni is a garden all their own. Within their hearts grow all sorts of different flowers and fruits, and yet for the best variety of life to thrive, all of us know that we need to prune and harvest so that things stay healthy. Living in community is a wonderful way to identify your flowers and fruits, so to speak - together with others, we learn so much more about ourselves than we do just on our own. And of course the more our heart-blossoms are thriving, the more delight God takes in sowing seeds of beauty, joy, peace, and delight.
Blessings on your harvest season! May you sow love and reap joy.
About the Authors
The writers of this blog are all the wonderful people who make up Hineni: the residents (or Hinenites!), the workers, the volunteers, and the folks of the St. Margaret's Cedar Cottage Church community.