Creating a Garden of Peace

International Day of Peace, 9-21-21

Our founder, Adele Seronde, named our organization “Gardens for Humanity.” The word humanity is a recognition that all people are part of the garden we call Earth. Indeed, humanity’s very diversity is the beauty we love in a garden with a myriad of color, texture, design, and purpose, all contributing their gifts to the whole.

The United Nations “International Day of Peace,” established in 1981 by unanimous resolution by all members, provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.

How can people contribute to building a “Culture of Peace?” In my years with Gardens for Humanity I contemplate the many layers of the word, humanity. At its core, the purpose of creating gardens in homes, neighborhoods, schools, and institutions is to bring beauty, a sense of community, and a connection with Nature. It works with the transformative and healing nature of gardening, an uplifting and unifying social and personal impact.

After working with people of all ages in gardens, I discovered other layers to the meaning of humanity. The very act of gardening evokes the essential qualities that touch our humanity. We learn about the importance of nurturing, and our responsibility in creating the beneficial conditions needed for each seed to flourish and reach its potential.

Through gardening we learn patience and humility. We develop a sense of gratitude. We experience the cooperative influence of relationships and interdependence in Nature. We contact our sense of optimism, gentleness, and empathy. We feel empowered to co-create and make positive change. All these experiences and lessons bring out our inherent Humanity!

A garden of whatever size or location, even a potted plant in an apartment, can become a Garden of Peace. It can become a sacred space where we practice and experience our Humanity. Then from this microcosm we can go out into the world and practice our humanity in all our relationships. This is one way that we can help create a “Culture of Peace.”

Adele Seronde had a word for such gardeners. She called them “Gardeners of the Spirit.” So as we let the qualities that we would develop in the act of gardening condition how we interact in all our relationships in life we become “Gardeners of the Spirit,” and peace makers with other beings and with Nature.

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