Finding God in My Garden

How saving the earth saved my sanity -- and fed my soul.

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Environmentalism, I have learned, is simply about personal responsibility. Instead of taking on the responsibility of my mother, who has chosen not to live well in any sense of the word, I have transferred my attention and need for maternal attention to the garden, where I have some control over sentient things that are willing to grow and thrive. I do not meditate regularly, nor does prayer come easily. But planting things is its own worship, a specific creation care that feels right for me.

Now, as I brave the Texas heat to pick weeds and harvest basil, I feel responsible for a bigger universe, a space wider than the one between my mother and me. Going green, it turns out, is about more than the earth's survival. It's about my own. And Austin is perfect for planting roots.

Joshunda Sanders is a writer in Austin, Texas.

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