Mindfulness Garden Games
by Joann Calabrese
author of Growing Mindful

Mindful Transitions

Happy New Moon!  October 25, 2022

First Frost & Garden Transitions

The first hard frost has arrived in Denver – and just like that we made a transition out of the summer gardening season. Right up until the last moment I was harvesting tomatoes, zucchini, and raspberries (stragglers to be sure – but they were all still producing.) The garden looks significantly different after the first frost. Plants that were green and vibrant are limp, withered, and blackened. Pumpkin vines that were abundant and lush look particularly defeated after the first frost. It is now a season for cold weather crops like collards, kale, and broccoli, who are all quite happy with the change.

Transitions like the first frost grab our attention because the garden (or the world) shifts in noticeable ways. Sometimes we view change as if a button has been pushed or we’ve flipped a page on a calendar, but in truth transitions are not single events but are processes. One moment of time flowing into another. And another truth is that everything is transitioning each and every moment. Garden plants are growing, shifting, changing, and sometimes beginning to fade whether we can observe dramatic shifts or not.

Last of the Raspberries

This of course extends beyond the garden into our lives and the world.  Humans and other creatures are more “beingness” than “being”.  While alive, we are all in a state of becoming and the world around us is changing each moment.

Everything is in a state of transition. We know this intellectually, but it is hard to maintain an awareness of this flow state. Taking the time to notice things morphing from one state to another is a profound mindfulness practice.

Mindful Practice with Transitions
squash with apple harvest

Attending to green world transitions is an easy entry to mindfulness practices. Begin by simply paying attention to what is changing and shifting in the garden. You’ll probably notice the big transitions first – dramatic shifts like the first frost are easy to track. By taking the time to be in the garden on a daily basis, you can bring your awareness to the smaller things shifting and changing. Subtle changes in shapes and color are easier to notice if we make this a daily practice. There is also an energetic feel to the garden that extends beyond what we are seeing and touching and we can tune into this as well.

Holding questions in our awareness can sharpen our experience. We can ask:

  • What is different in the garden in this moment?
  • What is in a state of flux or change?
  • What is flowing with the change and what is resisting it?

We can use a similar process with questions about our lives, sitting in contemplation with questions like:

  • What is different on this day or in this moment in my life?
  • What in my life is in a state of flux?
  • How am I aligned with this shift and how might I be resisting it?

When we hold questions in this way, it is not to figure out an intellectual answer but to hold our attention on the question and allow insights and deeper understanding to bubble up.  Cultivating an awareness of this reality – that everything is shifting and changing –  increases our ability to flow with transitions.  We can become more comfortable in our “beingness” and let go of our tendency to hold tightly to things as they were.  And we move beyond the fact that everything changes to an actual experience of flow.

About this Lunar Blog Post Series
Luna in the Fall Garden

This article is part of my lunar blog series. New moon posts focus generally on garden and mindfulness related topics. Full moon posts focus on one of the plants featured in my book, Growing Mindful, Explorations in the Garden to Deepen Your Awareness. For more details on the lunar blog post series and to see past posts click here. 

Notecards Available on Etsy

See my Etsy Store for a set of notecards based on my book, with illustrations beautifully created by Amy Calabrese.      Click here to visit my Etsy Store

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