THE MODERN MINT BLOG
An unusual blog post today as we wanted to write about Mother Teresa. Recently we have been reading the book No Greater Love…
…and found ourselves making lots of notes from it. Though not strictly a gardening book we share with you below some of the ideas Mother Teresa has written in the book, and (hopefully) find in her words a tenuous link to gardening by the end.
What made us pick up this book and start reading?
It is Autumn, a time for dreaming and reflection. We were searching for something calm and ordered to help influence our own mind, in order to work out what we will be trying to achieve at Modern Mint for next year. Perhaps a few more meadows… or a few more garden talks… did it work? Yes it did. Just take a look at the notes below and allow your mind to find its poise….
No Greater Love by Mother Teresa
“Always be faithful in little things, for in them our strength lies. To God nothing is little.”
“Do not pursue spectacular deeds. We must deliberately renounce all desires to see the fruit of our labour, doing all we can as best as we can, leaving the rest in the hands of God. What matters is the gift of your self, the degree of love that you put into each one of your actions.”
“If you’re discouraged, it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers. Never bother about peoples opinions. Be humble and you will never be disturbed. The lord has willed me here where I am. He will offer a solution.”
“If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know what you are.”
“In the work we have to do it does not matter how small and humble it may be, make it Christ’s love in action.”
“However beautiful the work is, be detached from it, even ready to give it up. The work is not yours; they have been given to you for your use, for the glory of God.”
“Spend your time in prayer. If you pray you will have faith, and if you have faith you will naturally want to serve…. the fruit of love is service… the fruit of service is peace. All of us should work for peace.”
“Riches, both material and spiritual, can choke you if you do not use them fairly. For not even God can put anything in a heart that is already full. One day there springs up the desire for money and for all that money can provide – the superfluous, luxury in eating, luxury in dressing, trifles. Needs increase because one thing calls for another. The result is uncontrollable dissatisfaction. Let us remain as empty as possible so that God can fill us up.”
I think we were touched by these passages – they seem to all connect with the idea of being humble, and just doing your work with honesty and love. Just do your work. This is a great attitude to take to weeding, especially when there is much weeding to be done. Or planting a tree – just plant your tree, and do it knowing it will not be you who truly enjoys its stature and maturity – but you will, in this moment, of planting, do it with great love. Fabulous way of looking at the world, and one that finds its partner in tending a garden.
We are off planting today – and no matter how wet, we are going to enjoy every moment of it!
You can buy this book by Mother Teresa here at Amazon – No Greater Love.
Guanock House needs a trainee topiary artist! Some of you may know it as the first home and garden of designer Arne Maynard, but is now owned and maintained by Michael Coleman and his wife Michelle. They offer meditation workshops and retreats there and it is as beautiful a house and garden as you could wish to visit. They called me in last Autumn to help shape up some of the topiary as it was all getting out of hand, but what it really needs is someone with a steady hand and lots of patience to take over the clipping …
Here are some photos of work I have been doing at the garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent. Snow and ice brings out the depth of the different planes and angles carved into the boxwood. A garden has to look beautiful in winter – and topiary (green architecture) helps do that! For more topiary pictures, click here.
I am an experienced teacher of topiary and pruning, running workshops in the topiary garden of Charlotte Molesworth in Kent, as well as for The English Gardening School and The European Boxwood And Topiary Society. So if you are a keen gardener, a garden club, a group of friends who want to know more or even an absolute beginner who has been bitten by the gardening bug, then do contact me about what you might like to learn. What a laugh we are having in this workshop session I ran for a group of friends in Essex… Many people employ …