The Walk to the Paradise Garden

By John Thomas Dodds


Paradise Gardens are the places that hold

an energy of Love, once planted there it never leaves.

You can come back to it time and time again,

it’s like you’ve never been away.


Having cultivated on your journey to Paradise Garden

the art of nature’s caretaker, where gardens

are a reflection of what makes you human, you bring

to the enclosure you love the qualities of the Gardener:

curiosity, tenacity, creativity, and a passion

for surrounding yourself with beauty.


You are the architect not for just a frivolous endeavor

in a yard to play croquet with stiff necked flamingos,

for it comes with it bites, scratches, broken nails,

stings, and sore knees while seeding, cultivating,

coaching life, out of rows of knee & hand tilled soil,

It’s like make-up enhancing the beauty of a woman’s face,

and how wonderfully you make it all part of you,

passionately so, reflecting your inner beauty.


You the protector standing proudly in your alfresco,

glass of wine in hand, hose on hip, systematically

watering plant by plant, ignoring any pending summer storm.

Nurturing denial, leaving nothing to chance, you kybosh

forecasts and the farmer’s almanac, and have, absolutely,

no use whatsoweather for the unpredictability of the

Lake Chapala mountain air.


You are the water bearer, sporting wellies in the rainy season,

sharing with your surroundings, love and gratitude,

the give and take of nature’s energy that returns

you to a natural state of enjoying life, and living in wellness.


Nurturing all the senses—a garden reflects your words,

and your joy when you speak to its allure—the plants

within your paradise feel rain drops, wind, an insect crossing

over a leaf, the sensual touch of your palm, feel the shadow

of a cloud listlessly moving through their space knowing

all the while they are one with the gardener.


You are the healer in your haven, in lineage with Eden

in a Paradise enclosed in a garden of timeless harmony,

where time is the high priest, time its own measure,

patience the groom waiting at the altar of an oasis of calm.


Paradise Gardens is your sanctuary where everything

around you is of your making, reminding you

to live in the present moment.

Commissioned by The Lake Chapala Garden Club for their 40th Anniversary.


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