In this charming and illustrated guide, Pacific Northwest gardener Andy Becker provides practical gardening tips coupled with spiritual insights to help gardens grow everywhere. Quotations from the Torah, the Midrash, and the Chasidic Masters blend seamlessly with the author's own experienced observations about dealing with Weeds, Lawn Envy, Damn Wabbits, the bitterness of Horseradish, and the sweetness of Raspberry Jam. Gorgeously illustrated by University of Washington artist Abigail Drapkin, THE SPIRITUAL GARDENER makes a perfect gift to your favorite gardener.
With wry humor, earthy spirituality, and practical advice, lawyer and amateur gardener Becker tells the story of his own garden and entreats readers to plant, tend, harvest, and share their own soil in this fine debut. Explaining that he tries to live his life by the commandment of bal tashchit (“do not waste or destroy”), Becker explores different aspects of gardening and how they relate to his own spiritual thinking. He doles out tales of tending his garden, making peace with moles, slugs, and his neighbors who feed the rabbits he is determined to eject from their burrow under his garden. In an age when one can feel tethered to a phone and bombarded by information and news, Becker argues that tending to a garden allows for “sanctified time.” For Becker, troweling, watering, mulching, and seeding provide time to relish life, and also present opportunities for him to muse about the value of humility, how to divide chores in a marriage, and the ethics of hunting, among other topics. In uncomplicated, clear prose, Becker pleasantly urges readers—even those with just a balcony—to make a space where their home can be “infused with the Divine Presence.” Green-thumbed spiritual readers will relish Becker’s welcoming memoir. (BookLife)