Ninsaba's Garden of Dreams and Delights

Goddess of Creativity, Education, Fate, and Agriculture

By Molly Anderson | Posted 7/7/07 | Updated 8/24/23

We journey through space and time to ancient Sumer to visit Ninsaba, the mysterious Goddess of Creativity, Education, Fate, and Agriculture.

The original Queen of Multi-Tasking, Ninsaba is known for her talents as an oracle and interpreter of dreams; she also brought science, architecture, reading, and writing to her people. I invite you to join me in my Time Machine for a quick trip to the past. Hold on, it's a bumpy ride!

Her dark hands toss out glittering jewels and keys to the old mysteries. She stands at the garden-gate, beckoning. Will you answer her challenge, traveler, and wander there awhile, along the winding paths?

The garden is enclosed by a high wall of white stone, with stone dragons and nymphs atop, basking in the sun. The gate is brass, and hung with tiny bells and chimes that sing a sweet song in the westerly wind. Ninsaba is silent, grave, all dark eyes and mystery, as she opens the gate to let us in. The Goddess removes her shoes and bids us do the same with a wave of her hand. We abandon them, lining up our sandals in an endless line of shoes — there must be a thousand pairs or more.

Ninsaba waits for something, black eyes flashing imperiously. Unsure of what to do, I simply bow deeply. She smiles and gives a regal nod, then turns to lead me down a soft, sandy path. Flowers and exotic fruit-trees bloom everywhere; fat bees drone lazily from blossom to bloom in the sun.

The sand is bone-white, and hot beneath my bare feet. The path is scattered with turquoise ingots and cool blue jewels, and silver coins to chill my toes. As we wander, I see tiny birds and butterflies dancing together. Paint-brush trees and fire-lilies are in full flower, and harp-flowers strummed by sprites create a haunting melody.

Along the winding paths are tiny peaceful places to paint, write, and make music. Shaded by weeping willows and birches are silver easels, tiny writing desks, a group of drums and tambourines around a fire. In the little glades and clearings, all is well. All is serene. Butterflies perch upon paint-pot flowers, delicately dipping their feet into viridian, scarlet, and cerulean.

Hummingbirds sip nectar from bright blooms. A tiny blue one buzzes over to perch upon my shoulder, clinging to me with tiny, fiercely strong feet. Ninsaba stops at the edge of a wide, rocky field. Smiling, she hands me a beautiful golden spade, pick, and hoe. "Dig," she commands with a smile, and then: "All artists must begin here. It is hard work to create a garden of dreams, a place where art can grow. Sow it, reap it." With a curt nod, she leaves me there to dig deep and uncover my dreams.

An hour later, I'm sore and tired. My back aches — this is tough work! I hear a loud, resonant chime as if a huge gong has been struck by a giant's fist. I stop and look around, stretching towards the sun. I've cleared a large patch of deep, fertile soil, placing the rocks into a large pile at the edge of the field. Beyond my little garden plot, I see other gardeners putting down their tools for a rest.

Ninsaba is seated beneath a weeping birch tree on a purple blanket. She beckons me to her side and serves me a goblet of sweet red wine. Poppies, brass bells, and rubies adorn her inky curls. She gives me bread and figs, honey and goat-cheese, roasted almonds, beautiful olives.

"You have worked hard — this is necessary and sometimes painful. But now is the time to rest and nourish your soul — this is necessary also. Drink from the sweet vine of dreams, and let it send you floating away on clouds of sweet fancy, dreaming… dream… dream deep!"

Take a Break: Wandering in the Garden

In my mind's midnight movie theatre, I wander this garden of dreams and delights. I invite you, dear reader, to do the same. Swing on a trapeze fearlessly, and catch your dreams in mid-air!

Close your eyes. Visit the winding pathways; till the soil; linger long and dream deep, luscious dreams. Visualize tis garden in rich delicious detail. What strange fruits grow there? When you are feeling relaxed and creative, open your eyes and head for the studio. Create a collage, painting, or poem about Ninsaba's Garden of Dreams and Delights.

I am awakened by another loud chime. "Your work is not done," Ninsaba says gently. "You must plant the seeds."

"I don't have any seeds," I answer, still lost in dream-land.

"Everyone has seeds. Look in your pockets. They are full of dreaming seeds. You carry them with you always, but they are tiny — so you may not notice they are there."

I reach a hand into the pocket of my jeans and pull out a million tiny little seeds. Each one is a different color — I never knew there were so many hues in the rainbow. Inscribed upon each seed, in intricate golden script, is a single word. "Wish," one whispers. ""Juicy!" another cries. "Dream." "Joy" "Light-heart." "Intoxicating." "Magick." "Leap." "Beauty." We walk back to the plot I've cleared, and I begin to scatter them about wildly on the earth.

"Sow a wish, reap a wish. Sow juicy, reap juicy. Don't forget to water them, and visit every day. These seeds need sun to grow, and earth, and rain… but more than that, they need you. You are their sun, their moon, their rain and wind, the earth beneath their roots. You must spend time here to make these seeds grow. The more time you spend, the more joy you bring to your garden, the more quickly they will grow. I myself grew this tree in less than a week."

She smiles, as if reading my thoughts. "I know you are thinking that you could never do this yourself. I am a goddess, and that makes my trees grow… but you are wrong. Anyone can do this. Absolutely anyone." She gestures for me to turn around. "Look!"

As we have walked, sowing dreaming-seeds, a whole meadow of wildflowers grew up behind us. Butterflies and hummingbirds dart to and fro, sampling these strange new blooms. Tiny flower-faeries dance about, laughing.

A spotted purple egg appears from thin air, and hatches as we watch. A baby dragon emerges, stretches his fragile blue wings in the sun. Arching his back, he grows larger and begins to test the air. "You must go now… please return soon to the garden. He will take you home," Ninsaba says.

Seeing no sign of my trusty Time Machine, I hop on board for a wild ride into the future. He drops me off on my porch, scaring the dog. I lay out in the hammock, writing — it's a gorgeous day for it! I'm already planning my next visit to Ninsaba's Garden of Dreams and Delights. I hope to see you there!

©2007 by Molly Anderson. All rights reserved.


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