"A Gorgeous Volume Rich in Eloquence and Grace"
How does one even begin to compose a review for a book that affects so deeply? And truly, this is the "forever" variety of book that draws one into revisiting its pages time and again; particularly as the inherent drama of our world, faith rattling events unevenly pared with the ordinary and accustomed coming and goings of daily life, jostle us off-course--leaving us crazily tilted, imbalanced, and uncertain.
I found myself reading a careful portion ("careful portion" in a determined effort to fully slowdown, contemplate, and reflect--altogether contrary to habit and nature!) of this treasure of a book first thing in the morning; purposely setting my dial several notches removed from the accustomed static of noisy randomness, twittering, and anxiety, and onto a reflective place where I might not only hear myself, but likewise climb out from the confines of my own head to better see the view. The infinitely wise, deliberate beauty, and peace inherent in this Divinely created world.
Mary Beth Ford is an author of gentle eloquence and graceful prose that seamlessly work to deliver a powerful message. The pages of this slender volume are rich with acquired wisdom and the assured promises existent within a sense of renewal. This beautiful book provides essential nourishment for the senses, electricity for the mind, and a steady current to the heart. While I have read this book cover-to-cover, I am by no means "finished."
"A Gorgeous Volume Rich in Eloquence and Grace"
"Lovely, heart-felt and thought-provoking work"
The old adage that often 'good things can come in small packages' certainly applies to this lovely little book. The author genuinely shares her message in a very heart-felt manner that endeared the work to me. Being a big fan of nature, this book really resonated with me as it reinforced my belief that nature itself is an excellent spiritual growth teacher. At two particular points in the book tears welled up in my eyes, as the passages brought important reminders to me about important lessons I'd learned earlier on my own path of spiritual growth.
By: Jeff Maziarek, author of Codi's Journey
"Nature Teaches Us"
I have been fortunate to visit Longwood Gardens over the years. It has always been a place where nature acts as a balm against our frenetic lives. There are many places to walk or sit and allow the trees, plants and flowers to fill our cells with restorative energy. Mary Beth Ford has beautifully captured how the gardens and in extension nature itself has helped her continually balance her life. I was particularly moved by the way our natural world helped her cope with the death of a beloved brother. For those struggling to find an internal peace, this is a quiet book which guides us through the cycles of nature as a way to guide us through the cycles in our lives.
By: Dr. Aili Pogust, Educational Consultant, Coach and Trainer
"Life lessons for everyone today"
I enjoyed reading this book the first time. Then I really read it and reflected on each chapter during a personal retreat. The topics are so timely and the content so real. I would recommend this book to anyone who seriously desires a deeper spirituality in everyday life. And if you enjoy creation, the gardens are an excellent context for reflection. I'm grateful to Dr. Ford for sharing her own challenges in seeking balance in a hectic world.
By: Dr. Kathryn A. Miller SSJ, Chestnut Hill College
"From a naturalist's perspective"
This book is written to bring the spirit of our Creator closer to anyone who reads it. Anyone seeking solace in the natural world will find comfort in the quiet yet strong images that the author has created. These images, while beautifully described, are also accurate and based in the interrelationships of ecology. The author has described the interactions of humans with the Creator's natural world using the garden as the metaphor. Well done! A wonderful and calming experience!
By: Dr. Nadine McHenry, Widener University
"Life lessons from nature"
Wisdom from the Gardens: Life Lessons is a beautifully illustrated compact book full of themes anyone seeking balance of mind, body and spirit in today's world will find helpful. This book provides a "spiritual blueprint" with nature as the medium through which Mary Beth Ford illustrates her own life-spiritual learning. Through each of the book's chapters she answers the question: What lessons does nature teach if I choose to quiet my busy mind and pay close attention?
Nature also brings me peace. Hiking is a very spiritual and exhilarating experience for me. I hike one particular mountain throughout the year. After reading Dr. Ford's book, I was better able to observe my own "tree friends" through each season and more deeply contemplate the life lessons presented in her book.
I like that the author does not claim to be an expert. Rather she humbly shares her life-long spiritual journey and learning with her readers. Dr. Ford is certainly a beautiful writer. One can readily picture the various images and feelings that the gardens evoke in her. She has lived a full life working in a variety of occupations and experiencing joy, sadness and many challenges. She wrote the book during the times of her brother's diagnosis and subsequent death from lung cancer, from which many of the lessons are derived.
Regardless of your spiritual orientation, you will learn much from this book-again and again! Read it through the first time, then keep it by your bed or desk and pick out a paragraph now and then to contemplate for the day. I highly recommend this book
By: Natasha Dachos, Social worker
"A wonderful, thought provoking and compassionate book"
In reading Wisdom from the Gardens, you accompany Mary Beth Ford as she reveals insights of life's lessons seasoned by the blessings of nature. More than that, she has the gift of the great writers who transform the reader from casual observer to active participant. She brings you to a wonderful place, a comforting oasis for the mind; the air is sweet; your mind is clear. You're in good hands.
By: David Parkhurst Crane, Classical guitarist and Grammy Award candidate
"Sweet and Sensible and Kind"
This is a charming book. One can pick it up anywhere, read a little, and feel better. A buffer in a busy world.
By: Dean 1900 (Kennett Square PA, USA)