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After listening to the On Being broadcast "Restoring The Senses: Gardening and the Orthodox Easter" I found my senses were tingling. From the picture of the Armenian Easter service with the sounds of beautiful hymns and even the visual smoke from the incense touched most of my senses. Easter is the time of year for new beginnings, from the grass coming in and bulb plants coming up, to the budding trees and flowering of my favorite white ornamental crab tree. We are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ not just in our churches but also in our garden and yard.
Vigen Guroian tells Krista about how "god is singing creation into existence" and this "song never ends" for there is always new creation. Take the garden as a prime example in the spring Vigen tends to the soil of his garden during the time of lent as a type of "sacrifice". He says "I'm cleansing my soul, making myself ready to receive the gift" those first flowers of the garden. I found that his sacrifice to pull weeds and more bears a beautiful reward.
The description of the Armenian Orthodox Easter Mass with its treasury of beautiful songs/hymns enhance the soul as we take in the sights of the icons that are displayed in the church. My church also adorns the icons with blooming plants. These feelings can also be found in the garden. The flowers and vegetables come up at different times and many go unnoticed to the naked eye, but not to the nose. Vigen can smell the presence of a new plant blooming in the garden. Much like smelling a flower to sense its presence in the garden, Vigen seems to sense the presence of God in the same way. After all the story of creation contains a beautiful garden created by God.
I found Vigens story of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the garden to be inspiring. You were created and placed in a beautiful garden with one simple rule. You were then tricked and broke the rule finding yourself expelled into a place of darkness and gloom for six days, scared and alone with only your companion to hold you. Then day seven arrives and you're brought to "this world" which is not quite as nice as God's garden, but you're very thankful to have been lead out of the darkness. I cannot imagine six whole days in a scary dark place.
What I have taken from this broadcast is that the garden to the people of Armenia is an important part of their life. The one's that survived the genocide had some type of garden since then. Vigen explains that "the garden was a place where things came to life" and this gives them hope to sustain their faith to go on living. His stories were very inspirational to me and with today being Easter, I feel new again and I'm thankful for what I have and I will enjoy my flowering crab(that is about to bloom)even more this spring. Krista and Vigen, Thank you for this beautiful picture that your words have left in my mind.

Karen Lund