Here's What Others Have to Say
Truth is a central, unifying, element of this work: The author follows her description of the Native American Medicine Wheel and its four compass directions, with her exposition of “Flowers: The Medicine Wheel of Truth”. To actualize that latter wheel, she carved out a circular space from her lawn and in it, created a real meadow, that spawned “wild” plants and flowers. Among those were thirteen plants and flowers–plantains, wild strawberries, dandelions among them– that she assigned, respectively, to the thirteen places on the wheel. To do that, she communed with wisdom imparted to her from the plants themselves. About this, she says: “I followed my heart and created this meadow with nature”. She emphasizes our role as co-creators with nature.
Each plant (and space on the wheel) represented an aspect of the Truth: Learning the Truth; Speaking the Truth; and so on. For each such aspect of truth, she goes into some depth, using real stories and examples from everyday life, in her exposition of that aspect of Truth. It is
also a gentle call for us to live the truth in it its many aspects, in our own lives.
Along her way of delving into the various aspects of our living each truth, she includes what amounts to a mini-course on the medicinal benefits of these plants. In this she draws on knowledge gained from her academic degrees in Nursing and Nutrition Science, and her experience associated with teaching Holistic Health Studies and Nutrition Science at both university and college levels.
I was struck on more than a few occasions at some of the (to me) surprising information I learned about various plants, that evoked in me a paradigm shift. As, for example, with the ubiquitous dandelions and poison ivy. This book is full of delightful surprises.
The four main themes of “At The Garden’s Gate”–The Medicine Wheel; the meadow; Flowers: The Medicine Wheel of Plants; and the author’s personal life’s journey during her years with the meadow–are deftly woven together with sensitivity, reverence for the body and spirit of nature and of ourselves, and with candid highlights of some aspects of the author’s self-knowledge gained along the way of her life’s journey.
“At The Garden’s Gate” is a highly sensitive, honest, informative, clearly-written, and inspiring portrait of the author’s seeking quest to deeply understand, gain wisdom from, and apply to her own life, lessons learned from tuning into an intuitive, intimate relationship with nature. It is guided, in part, by Native American teachings (The Medicine Wheel) which the author mentions corresponds in some ways to similar lessons gleaned from eastern philosophies.
The author’s love and reverence for nature and for our own lives is infectious. This book, though profound, is enjoyable and easy to read. I highly recommend it to all.