Detail 1

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Detail 2

The Garden of Heart’s Desire

 So, begin with longing.

Longing is the key.  Without it, the tall thick blue door will not open, will not allow entrance through the arched dark corridor whose end admits a small semi-oval of light, giving just enough illumination so you don’t have to crawl on hands and knees, guided only by the feel of cool bumpy plaster as you make your way to this strange, familiar place. The scent of a perfumed garden precedes your arrival. Your cells quicken with pleasure as your nostrils take the message:

“Oh do not run but be still, my heart, for we are approaching the secret garden of heart’s desire.”

With each step the allure grows greater. Even if, from the middle of the corridor, you can only see the shapes of things ~ a purple clump that might be irises, a red grouping that might be roses ~ you no longer require exact details in order to situate yourself. You have never seen this garden, and you have dreamed of it forever. It was created by brilliant gardeners who know the secrets of the universe, in whose hands all seeds take root, all shoots are tended, all soil composted with the useful dregs of what you do not need, what is superfluous to your well-being. These gardeners’ ways are light years ahead of anything you could fathom. Yet these gardeners have been brought here to tend this plot for you. This is, after all, your garden.

It has awaited you all your life. You knew it as a child. You lived there when your eyes were closed, coming back to the noisy world with a startled jerking of the head. Later, you learned to  keep your eyes open, to look outside and outside only. The garden was still being tended. But without you there, it lacked a crucial ingredient ~ a nourishment of mineral in the clear spring water, a special note the local birds could not sing. Your garden has thrived in your absence, well-tended and well-loved from the moment you left it, awaiting your return like the most majestic of fair-minded rulers. And it will continue to be tended without you there, and will continue to thrive, and the gardeners will work their horticultural magic not only for you but for themselves, for the love of creating, of tending, of developing a soul.

Yet you have dreamed, in quick glimpses, of this garden all your life. You have longed for its comfort, you have yearned for its beauty, you have craved its life-giving nourishment for the eye and the ear and the mouth and the heart. You fear, during those rare glimpses, that you are but a trespasser, that you will be turned away if you encroach over the property line ~ or worse yet, punished: jailed, or flogged, or publicly humiliated. You want so much what is inside that wondrous garden, what is out of reach. You have no idea on earth that you are the rightful owner.

What makes you walk through the dark corridor, this time? What causes you to come so close that you can tell this gorgeous garden is not a dream, that no savage dogs are being set upon you? Why, this time, can you see the door that opens to the corridor that opens to the garden?

Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and the door shall be opened. Ask, and it shall be given. Readiness is all.

—  From Intimacy, by Naomi Rose


Detail 3

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