Every Moment And Every Event

March 5, 2016 | Reflections from some of the nuns

The Farm

"Every moment and every event of our life on earth plants something in our soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it the germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men and women. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because we are not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the soil of freedom, spontaneity and love."

Thomas Merton

Plant propagation


Silver Beet


It is autumn and I have spent many hours over the past month preparing the garden beds ready for the autumn planting of new vegetable seedlings. I have put a new commitment into my gardening practices. In the interest of cutting back on expenses and also, so that I can be part of the nurturing of plants through the whole cycle of their life, I am growing from seeds and not buying any new plants. Yujin (now Sr Stella) is wonderful at propagating from cuttings and is keeping plants supplied to the garden and to our cottage plants stall outside our Abbey shop. This leaves me with the task of growing from seeds. 

Over the years I have had varied success and failure with seed growing but this year I have picked up a new approach from one of the locals. I am planting seeds into a polystyrene box that is about 4 inches deep. In the bottom of the box I put gauze to ensure soil doesn’t get lost through the drainage holes, and then I put a supply of fertilizer – dynamic lifter, perch poo or whatever, that I mix with some good compost. Then the top layer is the mix of seed raising soil and sand that the seeds are planted into. When the seeds start to germinate I can leave them there in this box for ages, planting out successive sowing each week. Because there is plenty of depth and feed in the box they just keeping growing slowly until they are planted out. They are strong and healthy seedlings and respond happily when they are planted into the garden beds.

Cabbage    Holy Basil

When I read Thomas Merton it struck me that it is quite sad that so many seeds, so many moments in our own lives, can be lost because the soil of our own heart and minds is not ready to receive them. Spontaneity, freedom and love are what Thomas Merton sees as necessary in the soil of the heart. It speaks to me of taking great care in the soil of our own hearts; nurturing, listening, watching over them, waiting with anticipation and love for what might spring up. If only we could see ourselves as God does, as being of earth, as created ones, then perhaps we could let go of so much and spontaneously allow the cycle of life to happen in our beings.

Have a nurturing week, full of spontaneity.

God bless

Sr Mechtild of Jamberoo Abbey