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  • At age four, I found a garden,

  • living underneath the kitchen floor.

  • It was hiding behind leftover patches of linoleum

  • on the worn-out floor my mother was having removed.

  • The workman was busy when the garden caught my attention.

  • My eyes became glued to the patterns of embroidered roses

  • blooming across my childhood landscape.

  • I saw them and felt a sense of joy and adventure.

  • This excitement felt like a feeling to go forward

  • into something I knew nothing about.

  • My passion and connection to garden started at that exact moment.

  • When spring arrived, I ran so fast through the house,

  • speeding ahead of my mother's voice.

  • I pulled on my red corduroy jumper and my grey plaid wool hat

  • before my mother could get her jacket on.

  • I catapulted out of the front screen door

  • and threw myself on a fresh carpet of grass.

  • Excited, I bounced to my feet and flipped three more cartwheels

  • before landing by her side.

  • Mother dear was in the garden

  • busy breaking up the soil,

  • and I sat beside her,

  • playing with mud pies in the flower bed.

  • When her work was done,

  • she rewarded me with an ice-cold glass of bittersweet lemonade

  • and then lined my shoes with sprigs of mint

  • to cool off my feet.

  • My mother cooked with the colors and textures of her garden.

  • She baked yams and squash

  • and heirloom tomatoes and carrots.

  • She fed love to a generation of people

  • with purple hull peas and greens.

  • It seems that during my childhood,

  • the blooms from my mother's gardens have healed all the way from her halo

  • to the roots on the soles of our feet.

  • In our last conversation before her death,

  • she encouraged me to go anywhere in the world

  • that would make me happy.

  • Since then, I have planted her gardens

  • through art installations throughout the world,

  • in countries of the people that I meet.

  • Now they are lining parks and courtyards,

  • painted on walls and even in blighted lots off the street.

  • If you were in Berlin, Germany,

  • you would have seen my garden at Stilwerk Design Center,

  • where rosemary and lavender, hydrangea and lemon balm

  • trailed up the glass elevators to all six floors.

  • In 2009, I planted "Philosophers Garden,"

  • a garden mural,

  • blooming at the historic Frederick Douglass High School

  • in Memphis, Tennessee.

  • This school's garden fed an entire community

  • and was honored by Eleanor Roosevelt during the Great Depression.

  • Again, in 2011, I planted at Court Square Park --

  • six entry gardens

  • with 80 varieties of deliciously fragrant floribunda

  • and hybrid tea roses.

  • Gardening has taught me that planting and growing a garden

  • is the same process as creating our lives.

  • This process of creation begins in the spring,

  • when you break up the soil and start anew.

  • Then it's time to clear out the dead leaves,

  • debris and roots of the winter.

  • The gardener must then make sure

  • that a good disposition and the proper nutrients

  • are correctly mixed in the soil.

  • Then it's important to aerate the topsoil

  • and leave it loosely packed on the surface.

  • You won't get those beautiful blooms in life

  • until you first do the work just right.

  • When our gardens are balanced with care,

  • we can harvest the beauty of living a life of grace.

  • In the forests,

  • when trees realize through their roots that another tree is sick,

  • they will send a portion of their nutrients to that tree

  • to help them to heal.

  • They never think about what will happen to them

  • or feel vulnerable when they do.

  • When a tree is dying,

  • it releases all of its nutrients to other trees that need it the most.

  • Below the surface, we are all connected by our roots

  • and sharing nutrients with each other.

  • It's only when we come together that we can honestly grow.

  • It's the same for humans in the garden of hardship.

  • In this garden,

  • when the caterpillar transforms into a chrysalis,

  • this involves some struggle.

  • But it's a challenge with a purpose.

  • Without this painful fight

  • to break free from the confines of the cocoon,

  • the newly formed butterfly can't strengthen its wings.

  • Without the battle, the butterfly dies without ever taking flight.

  • My life's work

  • is to illustrate how to integrate human connectivity into the garden.

  • Gardens are full of magical wisdom for this transformation.

  • Mother Nature is creative energy waiting to be born.

  • Gardens are a mirror

  • that cast their own reflection into our waking lives.

  • So nurture your talents and strengths

  • while you appreciate all you've been given.

  • Remain humble to healing.

  • And maintain compassion for others.

  • Cultivate your garden for giving

  • and plant those seeds for the future.

  • The garden is the world living deep inside of you.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

  • (Cheers)

  • (Applause)

At age four, I found a garden,

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B2 US TED garden mother planted soil gardening

【TED】tobacco brown: What gardening taught me about life (What gardening taught me about life | tobacco brown)

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    林宜悉 posted on 2018/06/21
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