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"This is a spiritually uplifting and wise book!" ~Angeles Arrien, author of Living in Gratitude
"From cleaning up after a storm to resisting the idea of planting more than can be cared for this links gardening to life goals...packed with wonderful insights perfect for gardening and new age libraries alike!" ~California Bookwatch
"Personal anecdotes lead to portable wisdom that can spur the reader to transformation." --Spirituality & Practice
"A fascinating read. There's a lot of thought in this book. It's well written. I highly recommend it." ~Bob Tanem, "In the Garden with Bob Tanem" KSFO, San Francisco
"Kathryn Hall has written a gentle book--she leads the reader from chapter to chapter as if wandering along a beautiful garden path." ~Book of the Month, A Garden Runs Through It, Master Gardeners, University of California, Davis
"...a fine collection of connections to life and gardening make Plant Whatever Brings You Joy a remarkable and riveting read." ~Midwest Book Review
"The garden as a metaphor is by no means a new literary concept but this is a fabulous packaging of that idea." ~Telluride Watch
From the Author
For over three decades it has been my daily habit of spending a part of each early morning in the garden. I have found the garden to be a place of rich renewal and of deep optimism. From this natural place of wisdom I have drawn 52 lessons which I here offer to you. It is my hope and intention that I have placed within your hands a simple tool which might resonate and take root in your hearts and minds, and that, through pondering, you will be brought closer to your own truths and your own precious souls.
While this book is easy to read, with personal stories and anecdotes, it takes a long time to digest. Each of the 52 chapters contains a short story and a bit of insight from the author's life, paired with garden practices. It is the type of book which lends itself to bathtub reading and late night sifting for gems of wisdom.
An example that truly touched me was in Chapter 39: Test and amend your soil. Ms. Hall says, "Yet how aware are we of our core beliefs and the very thoughts we feed ourselves on a daily basis that are determining the culture in which we live and grow?" This is one of those statements which is so true that it almost slaps you in the face. Our culture, our religion, our faith communities, our families all help amend the soil in which our soul grows. Ms. Hall asks us to take the time to evaluate just what we're putting into that metaphorical soil, and to use that knowledge to help determine whether we need to add more to it or if we're over-doing it.
Plant Whatever Brings You Joy is a meaty book, one that asks you to evaluate yourself over and over again. In a later chapter, Trim unwieldy branches, the reader is asked to examine her life and wonder where all the time and energy goes. Ms. Hall points out that the myriad of undone things each day saps our energy and steals our time from us. By putting ourselves in order, like trimming the unneeded branches from a sprawling tree or grape arbor, we make more time. There is less confusion, more understanding of where our energies need to be flowing. There are less dead ends, so to speak.
Each life lesson is matched to a gardening metaphor which helps highlight the important parts and illustrate what needs to be done. Whether she's raving over her gardeners and the lessons she learned from them, or laughing with you about the number of birds she ended up owning at one point in her life, Ms. Hall brings a comfortable humor to the situation. When she likens problems to weeds or blessings to fruits from the cultivated portions of the garden, she gives the reader something to grasp, to hold onto while trying to understand some very deep issues.
Ms. Hall's book is truly fascinating. It keeps the reader engaged, and leaves you with a string of deep thoughts to mull over late at night. Being able to turn to the garden for spiritual ideas is a great thing, and Kathryn Hall does an excellent job in drawing it out clearly for everyone. I'm so glad I was able to purchase it, read it, and enjoy it. As a minister, I fully intend to use some of the wisdom gems within for sermon seeds!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Kathryn Hall for creating such a wonderful book. I found myself not reading it through quickly as I do most books. Instead I lingered on every word, after every chapter and considered how I could apply these lessons to my life, my world and not just my gardening experience. A delightful surprise in how the content actually made me think, pause and reflect. I cannot think of anything else to say except EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS BOOK and take advantage of the gifts that are revealed throughout. Kathry Hall....I am waiting for your next book....................patiently, of course..............
What an elegantly-crafted read this is! I thought it was going to help me get into gardening, as I finally have the space to start some planting. Yes, it was a great guide for that. But to my surprise, this book is a beautiful source of wisdom for life, itself. Each chapter is a corresponding metaphor to achieve a nurturing balance in one’s own inner world; lovingly tending to the soul as one would care for the garden. Very cool...
Kathryn nurtures her readers by planting soulful stories in our hearts. Her book is full of wisdom we can apply to foster joy. She shows us the lessons she has learned in the garden and how they mirror human life. Plant Whatever Brings You Joy is a delightful read that has the power to change your life for the better.
I purchased this for my mom, Doreen, and the following is her review: Plant whatever brings you joy was one of the best gifts that I received from my daughter. It was the best book that I read in 2013. Ms. Hall's writing and story telling is so peaceful and enjoyable to read. I did not want the book to end, but it is the kind of book you will read again and again. I pick it up and read a chapter from time to time and have it right on my nightstand. I truly love it and would highly recommend it to anyone to enjoy. Peace
About a year ago we moved from a large city flat to a small country cottage. I had a vast collection of books that I loved that I had collected over a lifetime. I could only bring a small selection of my books with me to our new home. “Plant Whatever Brings You Joy: Blessed Wisdom from the Garden” by Kathryn Hall is one of the handful of books I brought with me to begin our new life in our new home. It is truly my “desert island” book. This is a book I have read so many time I have lost count. The chapters are not long, and you can turn to any one of them for inspiration and for the pure pleasure of reading. This is an excellent book to have by the bedside to read before you go to sleep at night. I have this book right now beside me on a table in my office. I will often turn to it during a break while working to breathe, to appreciate things, to remind myself of what I do best. It is the perfect choice to give a special friend or loved one as a gift. It is an outstanding choice for a book club as there are so many ideas inside this book to discuss and savor. And savor is a good word, because this is also a beautifully written book for those who appreciate exceptional writing. The chapters are captivating, and I am immediately drawn into them. I have also been profoundly moved by the wisdom inside this book, and it has changed my life in many positive ways. I love this book.