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Growing The Garden of Our Dreams

The Garden of the World has no limits, except in your mind - Rumi

Dear Friend
Growing The Garden of Our Dreams
The garden of love is green without limit and yields many fruit other than sorrow and joy - Rumi
As May bursts into bloom, I've been enjoying singing Jean Ritchie's beautiful songNow is The Cool of the Day (arr. Kith & Kin) with Anima A Capella Quartet and my choirs.  For me, this song conveys a sense of stewardship towards our world often tragically lacking in modern life.  Currently pivotal decisions being made about what kind of garden we wish to inhabit here on earth. Will it be fenced with the barbed wire iron of prejudice, persecution and conflict or will it be welcoming, inviting and celebrate the beauty of our natural diversity?  We are all gardeners in this life and we can all contribute to growing a beautiful world together.

The Wisdom of Weeding
Unless it's a Hell Yeah, it's a No - Cassie Everett, Homeopath
Life is full of decisions - from controversial referendums to what we are having for dinner tonight. Decision-making requires being clear about our YES and our NO - which sounds straightforward, but our mind gets cluttered with the brambles of expectations, conditioning, delusions, fears, and worries which obscure our vision.  So often we say YES when we really mean NO and vice versa - we may run from the things that would grow us because we are frightened of change and cling instead to familiar attachments.  We may overcrowd our garden with commitments and engagements because we are scared to face the space and silence.  Weeding in my garden regularly teaches me that if I want things to grow gorgeously in my life then I have to be willing to give things up, cut things back, let things go, dig things over and make space for the new.  If I avoid this essential pruning, life will inevitably end up feeling overrun and exhausting.  Nature teaches me to learn from the wisdom of loss, decay, death, change over and over again.  In doing so I am more able to affirm and enjoy the abundance and diversity of life and love that grows in the garden.

Greeting the Green Man
The Green Man is complex, he represents many things. Primarily he symbolizes the unity of the human and plant worlds. - Sandra Knauf
There is a Green Man all of us encounter daily when we cross the road who gives us the Green Light to GO.  There is also the mysterious figure of the Green Man whose bushy beard is made of leaves and who dwells in the underworld of myths and legends.  Whilst he has a close relationship with figures such as Pan, Dionysus, Osiris, Father Christmas, Robin Hood or Odin he has no dedicated scripture or single story that contains him.  His sometimes grimacing, sometimes grinning face peers out from sculptures across the world, yet he is so entwined with nature that he cannot be effectively bound by words.  He reminds us that for all our technology, humanity is still part plant, part nature, part earth.  His enigmatic smile beckons us to reconnect with our natural roots and resources as we face life's challenges and adventures.  His mysterious, multi-faced personality invites us to relinquish old stories and fixed identities so we can renew and recreate our lives.

Dreaming in Green
In the Garden of Memory, In the Palace of Dreams, That is where you and I shall meet  - Mad Hatter, Alice Through The Looking Glass 
Another much loved eccentric, The Mad Hatter, reminds us that it is in dreamland that we can truly encounter each other - in the space where we are able to let go of our day to day identities and remember something of our mysterious essence together.   A recent Heineken advert #OpenYourWorld demonstrates the power of what happens when we put our fixed beliefs aside in a space of creative enquiry and encounter.   For me singing is that palace of dreams - it enables people of diverse walks of life to collaborate on the sculpting of beautiful sounds together.  In singing we share an experience which is innately human and expressive of our core vulnerabilities, emotions, longings and loves and which also takes us into an imaginative, creative space where the usual name tags and identities need not apply.  People from different faiths, cultures, generations can all access the joy of making something beautiful together and meet one another in the palace of dreams, where memory allows us to recall our shared humanity.

You are all invited to join me in the palace of singing dreams at Dream Choir Workshop on 27th May - early birds catch the lower booking fee by 13th May.  Or do come and sing at a choir.  Or just sing... with your neighbours, your loved ones, your human family and help make this world a gorgeous garden of dreams this May..

Wishing you all much green gorgeousness this May