God’s Garden


The Lord God planted a garden

In the first white days of the world,

And He set there an angel warden

In a garment of light enfurled.


So near to the peace of Heaven,

That the hawk might nest with the wren,

For there in the cool of the even

God walked with the first of men.


And I dream that these garden-closes

With their shade and their sun-flecked sod

And their lilies and bowers of roses,

Were laid by the hand of God.


The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,–

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.


For He broke it for us in a garden

Under the olive-trees

Where the angel of strength was the warden

And the soul of the world found ease.


Dorothy Frances Gurney


Over the weekend I attended the annual poetry festival in McGregor. It was a beautiful weekend, full of moments to savour poetry, good company and the lovely town of McGregor. On Sunday, I participated in a walk around the gardens of Temenos. Marguerite Osler led us on a meander around the garden, stopping every now and then to read a poem or to draw us into a moment of mindfulness and reflection. She started with this poem, and I found myself somewhat tearful. This poem was one of my grandmother’s favourites, and the fourth stanza hung on a little picture in her kitchen. I loved that picture, and my grandmother’s garden is a place that lives on in my imagination; it is a place I go to in my mind when I need to retreat from the bustle and anxieties of life. I hope that this poem is a quiet moment for you in the busyness of your day.


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