Some spaces like a garden, evoke grace. But exactly what is ‘grace’?
I browsed the dictionary trying to find a definition that properly defined what I meant by a garden having grace. There were so many meanings to choose from.
I ventured further and found the Three Graces (Charites) in Greek mythology, said to be daughters of Zeus, the king of all gods.
The Three Graces were: ‘Aglaia, the Grace that symbolized Beauty, Euphrosyne, the Grace of Delight and Thalia, the Grace of Blossom. According to Greek poet Pindar, these enchanting goddesses were created to fill the world with pleasant moments and goodwill’ (ref).
Now I was getting close. Beauty, delight and blossoms, created for pleasant moments and goodwill, isn’t that an apt description for a garden? I think of the moments of peace my garden gives me at the end of the day. The graceful arching fronds of the Fijian Hairs foot fern, or the recently spiking Cymbidium orchids with their cascading strappy leaves. I delight in the beauty of my massed pink petunias. They’re called Shockwave and that describes their colour and form perfectly. Beauty, delight and blossoms abound, in my tiny garden, even at this time of the year.
However, there is something more about the idea of grace that transcends worldly or even mythological description. For me, grace is a deep-seated feeling, a state of mind; elusive, fleeting and intangible. The state of being I have when I meditate successfully or when I am in my garden. A kind of blissful, boundless interconnectedness.
There is no separation between the garden and the gardener
For my garden, grace is inherent, but for me it is something I constantly have to work on.
I wonder gentle reader, what grace is for you?