The prompt for this creative journal was “In Robin Wall Kimmerer’s story The Offering (p. 33-38), she considers sacred and personal ceremonies of thanksgiving, respect, and reciprocity. “Ceremonies large and small have the power to focus attention to a way of living awake in the world” (p. 36). What are your own homemade ceremonies, your offerings to the earth (p. 38)?” When I started thinking about what ceremonies I Currently engage in that show a reciprocity with the land, I immediately gravitated to another reading that we had taken from Kimmerer; Epiphany in the Beans. The relationship that I have with my father reminds me a lot of the relationship that Kimmerer describes between her and her daughter. When I was young I admittedly didn’t like helping my dad in the garden, but when I graduated and moved out I missed the days that Dad and I spent in the garden.
In terms of my relationship with the land, I don’t think that a single activity I have ever undertaken brings me closer to the environment than gardening. To help describe the ceremony behind gardening I created a Gardeners’ Manifesto.
Writing the manifesto gave me a reason to reflect on what gardening really is to me. One of the biggest beliefs about gardening that I have is to do with the sparse use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. I expressed this point in the “we believe” section of the manifesto. I personally think that anytime someone is working or playing outdoors they should be conscience of how they are impacting that environment, and make all efforts to reduce that impact.
Another point that I made prominent was that as a gardenener it is my responsibility to not only sustain myself with the food that I produce, but to also sustain the Earth itself. When I was working in Moosomin, I was renting a house that had a yard with a freshly cut garden. Before planting anything into the garden my dad and I knew that I would have to help out the Earth. To do this we tilled several hundred pounds of composted manure into the soil, so as not to drain the soil of nutrients in the first summer.
In the end, I feel that gardening of any sort can be seen as a homemade ceremony, especially when you keep your influence on the environmetn in mind. By following the manifesto that I have created, I plan on continuing my gardening ceremony without placing undue stress on the environment.