On this lovely Autumn day, as I'm watching out my window, the leaves are releasing themselves from the trees and blowing around happily in the gusty wind. It's like watching a well timed partnership of dancers executing a masterpiece performance. I absolutely LOVE Fall in Northern California! The abundance of delicious Summer veggies and fruits, brought to us by Mother Earth, in cooperation with our Spring planting, is slowly diminishing with the sunlight. Many of us have made our final harvest and have prepared our gardens to rest in the Winter months, while some of us have planted our broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, and other Fall garden goodies. We have apples, eggplants, and celery galore! And squashes and gourds and pumpkins, oh my! Just in time for Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations, as well as hearty soups and stews, to keep us warm as the days grow shorter and colder. I feel so much gratitude on days like this, mixed with a hint of melancholy. While I am profoundly thankful for the impressive bounty of my tiny little garden, I am also a little sad to render my beautiful plants- whom I've lovingly tended to, and received nourishment from, for months- to compost for next Spring's soil nutrition. Yeah, I know, I know! Logically, this is the changing of the seasons, and this is how it goes; However, to truly "See" my garden in this context is deeply profound to me, and I feel very connected to it, and grounded in a truly spiritual way. While my yard and garden may not look like much to someone merely driving or walking past, it is a place of worship and magic to me! If you will, I see God here.
While tending to my garden the other day, I encountered one gigantic, and one smaller Praying Mantis. At first I thought that there were two of them. After a day or two of one not moving, I realized (With a little research) that I had indeed witnessed a "Shed" by the big Mantis! I'm assuming that it is female, and I'm pretty certain that she is the same Praying Mantis that has been hanging out in the garden since Spring. I had found her- a tiny little thing about the size of my thumbnail- on the North side of the house, in my sitting area. I gently picked her up and moved her to the garden, on the South side, to hopefully provide her with a better food source and protection in the foliage of the growing plants. I've seen Miss Mantis from time to time, throughout the Summer, while watering ( I hand water my garden so I can visit every day, and not miss out on any of the growing experience!) Seeing her as big as she is now is very satisfying and validates that she has clearly done very well with the move! Miss Mantis will be able to live the rest of her life out comfortably in the Jupiter's Beard, Milkweed, blueberries, and eggplant. Hopefully, she will grace the garden with an egg, carefully tucked in, to burst with tiny babies next Spring. Namaste my little green friend! And so much love to this truly sacred space that is my garden.