Flourishing in the heart of California grows a tree whose roots sink deep into the earth, whose limbs open wide to the heavens, whose blossoms give nectar to pollinators and luscious, magenta fruit to wild birds. Elizabeth Murray reminds me of this mulberry tree of my youth. In her most recent book, Living Life In Full Bloom, she stitches a silken thread from “gardener” to “artist” to “lover” and finally to “spirit weaver,” pulling from a treasure of life experience and global, visionary work. Stunning photos, delicate drawings, inspired writing, and clear directives make this book imperative for all of us seeking a more fulfilling life. “Though there are many different kinds of leaders, strong ones always have clear vision and integrity, which ignites the imagination and hearts of others as they show the way.”
A gardener first and teacher of Master Gardeners, nature informs Murray’s creative expression. She invites us not only to plant and nurture, but to fully appreciate wilderness. Rather than rushing around worrying about garden tasks, we are encouraged to savor and observe what really exists. A child’s joy in the midst of flowers, a gathering of friends with homemade floral crowns, the beauty of an open lotus, these scenes celebrate nature’s abundance. Murray reminds us to take time to walk into the forest, where we can experience the reverential feeling of being among towering Sequoia on a path with shafts of golden light up ahead. The future holds promise when we remember we are part of nature.
Coming at a crucial time, when many fear the impact of global change and feel at a loss for what to do, this book also serves as a template for discovering our own personal calling. Through “Life Mapping,” we can determine what each of us has to offer the future. This message is one of hope, of possibility, and of practical “practices” to enrich our lives. “When the light is right, the lotus ascends through the water, emerging into full bloom.”
So indulge in a hot cup of peppermint tea and a bowl of juicy berries, find your favorite seat, and meet inspiring “Full Bloomers” within the pages of Living Life In Full Bloom. The flowers will transform into fruit which will sustain us all.
Margot McKeon Grych, horticulture educator, Carmel, California