- Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Plume (June 1, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452275172
- ISBN-13: 978-0452275171
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,917,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Growing Myself: A Spiritual Journey Through Gardening Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1997
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This book took me to many beautiful, magical places as I followed the author through her ever evolving love affair with plants. She visited/lived in Brazil, Findhorn in Scotland, a penthouse on the upper West side of Manhattan, a summer getaway home in upstate New York ... and in each location she made discoveries, had magical experiences, learned and grew ever deeper into a communion with the plant world, healing, and reclamation of the wisest, most alive parts of herself. So for that reason alone, this book is engaging.
Her writing style is spare but so rich. I've come to dislike almost every non-fiction book I read because it's so unnecessarily long and loaded with filler, 300 pages on what could be distilled into 30. This book is the opposite. She packs more into one powerful paragraph than another author would say in an entire chapter. She doesn't feel the need to spell out every detail -- she simply shares the fundamentals of her experience and leaves room for the reader to use their imagination to elaborate and vicariously experience the rest. It's the essence of engagement. Enlivening. Drop a few hints, give a few tips and personal insights, then inspire the reader to take off on their own. Masterful.
And I suspect this is because she deeply, profoundly, truly and joyfully loves, respects and grows through her communion with the plant world and, through it, all of life. She writes from her heart and her experiences, growth and simple yet profound insights reached right into mine.
In her twenties, Handelsman was introduced to the philosophy promoted by the Findhorn Garden and thus began a spiritual journey with plants. She began talking to her plants, letting them know her intentions, and found that the plants responded. Some of the stories are quite mystical, but the common thread is that plants are aware of us and desire the same things we do.
The reader is introduced briefly to various practices such as French intensive digging, Ruth Stout's gardening method, and Rudolf Steiner's Biodynamics. The last chapter summarizes the author's advice on "applying inner gardening." But this is really a love story about a human and her plants, how she helped them reach their full potential and how they helped her release personal baggage, connect to her own humanity, grow, and blossom.