Archive for November, 2010

Making Spaces

Posted by: Heidi

November 29th, 2010 >> my garden

Fall is the time to make spaces in the garden. As I cut back the plants that are finished for the season the garden opens up and I see things that were hidden among the lush foliage earlier in the year. Without the spaces everything blends together, the structure is lost or hidden and many details are missed. The spaces allow us to see and appreciate each individual plant and these spaces are necessary for a healthy garden. They allow the air to circulate and give the plants room to grow. Overcrowd the garden and only the strongest and most aggressive plants will survive.

When I’m not in the garden I spend some of my time playing with paint and with music and spaces are important in these endeavors too. Space is a key element of composition for paintings and other forms of visual artwork. Empty space adds perspective, creates contrast and gives focus. In music, just as important as the notes are the rests, the intervals of silence between the notes. Without these spaces between the notes there is no melody.

Whether nurturing plants in a garden, creating a picture with paint or stringing notes together to make a melody, less gives us more, and including some emptiness leads to meaningfulness. I think that this is true in all aspects of our lives. If we fill up all of our time we end up being too busy to fully experience each moment and if we fill our lives with too much “stuff” everything is less meaningful, the clutter doesn’t allow us to appreciate what we have. Spaces allow us to breathe, they let us think about all we have experienced, they give us perspective and provide room to grow.

We can create and maintain spaces in our lives by being more thoughtful about the things we accumulate and about how we spend our time.

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”

~ Henry David Thoreau