Trusting New Beginnings

And suddenly you know

It’s time to start

Something new.

And trust the magic of beginnings.  

~ Meister Eckhart

Ekchart’s lovely and reassuring message came printed on a card I received last year. The sentiment came to mind during the first week of 2019 when, now retired, I wandered my home garden at leisure. Coming through the soil are tips of some of the bulbs the squirrels and my hole digging puppy have allowed me to keep. Even if you are not a gardener this is surely the most wondrous of new beginnings; the blooms that return early in the calendar year promising us that better days and our better selves are in the future.

Part of my personal new beginnings has been to accept the role of a guest blogger and this is my first for 2019. In this maiden blog as the former ED I’m exploring the magic of new beginnings at the Dunn Gardens. To be more specific, three of them.

One of the biggest new beginnings at Dunn Gardens is that we now have a new executive director. The responsibilities associated with that role have been assumed by Carolyn Cox. The Dunn is most fortunate. Carolyn has a long association with the garden; she lives in the neighborhood, has been a board member, event and trust manager for the last four years and as a bonus has a family that pitch in at events. Carolyn is getting her masters in nonprofit management and has an imagination about how to bring the garden along that is bigger than Texas. So, a big cheer for our executive director.   

Another new beginning is in the area of volunteer recruitment. I will be working with a former board member, Dot McCain to put together a more formal structure for bringing in volunteers. Personally, I thought I would start things off by thinking outside the box as people are often beseeched to do. I would offer Jack, my hole digging dog, to the gardeners if they want to aerate the lawn. Volunteers are like grandmas-we have a special place in our hearts for them. Keep tuned.

The third is not quite a new beginning as technically it is a project that started last year, but it is one we are going to share with you over 2019. Our director of historic preservation, Quill Teal-Sullivan secured a grant through 4Culture to review the health of our heritage trees and to put in place measures needed to maintain their viability. Because this is at the heart of what the garden is about, the project is dear to our hearts. We will enjoy keeping you posted.

Obviously, those associated with the Dunn are fond of the garden trees given their air-scrubbing, noise reducing, and neighborhood beautifying qualities. But if you peek at many of them right now they are engaging in new beginnings too with buds that are fattening up. Looking at you Sargentia robusta. The magic of new beginnings is that they sometimes get even better. Those buds will bloom, a dash of color in the cold and then give way to lush green. David Nowak, the founder of i-Tree claims that when humans see green in nature they relax, particularly when the tree canopy is large. The measured levels of the cortisol hormone released when a person is in under stress is reduced when around trees. Just saying, but free blood pressure reduction is one of the obvious benefits of volunteering.

2019 is looking promising with all that new beginning magic around us. We particularly look forward to sharing it when the garden opens for the Winter Stroll, 1-3, Sunday, February 17. Come by and give our new director some feedback on what you would like to see happening at Dunn Gardens.