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After twenty years of sporadic writing, three wonderful editors helped me to shape and finish this book: Our Sacred Garden — The Living Earth. It offers means of fostering hope in the face of disastrous environmental crises. It is an exploration of the symbolic and actual meaning of gardens as a microcosm of our Earth but it is not a “how-to” book. There is an enormous selection of informative, beautifully illustrated garden books which answer questions I do not even ask!
About My Books
Throughout the past 60 years I’ve been writing books of poetry. The first of these were children’s books (Ask a Daffodil and Ask a Cactus Rose), which were stimulated by my oldest son’s despair at not being able to read. We discovered that he was being taught by the “look-say” system of reading (by whole paragraphs, often memorized) instead of by a phonetic base of teaching the alphabet, integrated with hearing, speaking, and writing. This method was a foundation to construct whole words. My husband found a French primer and taught our second son. He learned the basics in a month and transposed them to English. Thereafter we taught the rest of our family to read before they went to school.
I became involved not only with my own phonetic poetry books but with contributions to new readers published by Lippencott Publishing Co. I also co-authored with Helen Grush “The Reading Series.” (Addison-Wesley Publishing Co.)
In the late 1980’s I worked as Co-Coordinator of Visual Arts for “Summerthing,” Boston’s Neighborhood Art Festival, a program to help unify the city through arts after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King. The beauties and challenges of this city, which I had never really known, became part of my life. I wrote Deliver Into Green as a tribute to all the visionary people with whom I’d worked and learned to love.
My family and I moved to Arizona in 1982. For two years I was able to restrain myself from jumping into yet another cause. I listened and looked and began to really appreciate this new country. The varying environment, which changed from tropical warmth to snow in three hours, was a landscape painter’s dream.
In the early ’90s I visited England with a metaphysical group. While I visited Glastonbury I had an experience which changed my life and was my incentive for starting a new book about gardens, which became a kind of odyssey.
In 1996 a group of artists and educators with a common passion for gardens started Gardens for Humanity, an organization which is still alive and blossoming in the growing environmentally oriented climate of the 21st century. Part of this is, of course, our economic crisis, which is inducing people to grow their own vegetable gardens. They are also more aware that the effects of our ongoing exploitation of our Earth, unless drastically lessened, will destroy us, too.
After 13 years of actual gardening experiences — digging, building, catalyzing gardens in places of need (schools, hospitals and health care centers, on reservations and in urban centers) — with the advent of a new Gardens for Humanity President, Richard Sidy, I finally have found the time to finish my book of prose, poetry and paintings. It is called Our Sacred Garden, The Living Earth.
Our Sacred Garden – The LIving Earth
Edited by James Bishop, Jr. and Bennie Blake.
Through the stories of extraordinary visionary leaders who plant gardens in both the soil and the mind, Adele Seronde shows how they meet the challenges, how they then inspire and weld together whole communities of caring people. She emphasizes that under the radar of press and politics there is a worldwide movement of people who are aware of the destruction mankind is perpetrating on this planet. They are working in a thousand small, concrete ways to change attitudes and actions. For instance, many of the grounds of old insane asylums have been turned into community gardens; strips of green or open common spaces are being incorporated into some housing developments. People are learning how, in their own back yards, to grow their own food, how to combat apathy and obesity as well as hunger.
Under their leadership the home and community gardens sometimes expand into home-built playgrounds alive with creative movement of jungle gyms, sheds, arbors, murals, fencing, waterways and mosaic walkways, seats and shaded benches. Many forms of art, fashioned from locally found materials, are incorporated. The gardens themselves can become a forum for meetings or a quiet place of contemplation; they can afford a moment of retreat for tired teachers in schools or a place of excitement for teenagers, rivaling gang wars.
These visionaries are not only the Dalai Lama, Albert Einstein or our astronauts, they are also our neighbors — of every race, culture and profession. They help us develop the beauty of new gardens in our hearts and minds.
The book includes provocative glimpses of the future, being enacted all over the world, stimulated by these advocates of visionary change. I believe that this current underground movement to heal our environment will give the courage at all levels (political, economic, social, as well as scientific and artistic) to change, and act, in turn.
Deliver Into Green
Illustrated by Adele Seronde
(Paperback – 1990)
Poets of Sedona, Word Watchers, Sedona, AZ. 1999
(Paperback – 2005)