Green Hands — "Green Hands"
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Thinking garden

My computer captivates me. I love using it, the way some people love driving a car: it gives me power. In writing, in reaching out to people, in organizing household files, in finding news and entertainment.... I constantly feel like a kid at Christmas.

Working on the machine occupies my whole attention. I don’t get distracted by things I could be doing elsewhere, by how much time I’m spending, by aches and pains. Such focus is a very pleasant experience. But when I finally get up from my workstation, I'm also aware it's addictive.

My health keeps me from doing much gardening these days. Sometimes it keeps me from the computer, too. But I manage to let the machine distract me from my body all too often. When I get out in the garden, I'm more aware of my body.

Seeing weeds all over saddens me, though I’m also thrilled to see beautiful plants thriving without my work. Even more important, getting out among them opens my awareness to a different kind of world-wide web, the web of Nature that refreshes me in a way my computer cannot. Still it’s a struggle to get out there.

Writing Green Hands does get me out to look. But I do so little work in the garden anymore, sometimes I feel like a fake. I used to just write about the gardening I was doing right now. Now I find myself wondering if I should stop the column, spend the time on other writing. And then something in the garden, or in the web of Nature, will catch my attention, and I feel so much more alive!

Besides, I find myself thinking about everything as garden. (For example I realize I need to give my body the same kind of attention I've learned to give to my garden. I need to garden my body. Try a little supplementation, get more water, see how it responds. If one thing doesn’t work, try another.) I guess I'm still a gardener.

So I'll keep writing about this connection with the Earth. In addition to writing about what I notice, I'll ask: what are you up to, what’s catching your attention? Write me at Nashoba Publishing, P.O. Box 362, Ayer 01432 — or email me at I won't promise to answer every question or comment, but I will pay attention to it. You will be part of my garden web.

© Copyright 2007 Catherine Holmes Clark

Comments? Questions? Email me at

Published in the six Nashoba Publications papers on Friday, 2 March 2007

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