Five summers ago my garden consisted of a couple of small unkempt beds containing mainly ditch lilies, trash, and noxious weeds. Most of what you see began as endless stretches of mown grass and dandelions with a few disconnected trees and shrubs plunked in random places around the lawn.
I started creating this garden during the heatwave of July 2011, precisely the day after my mother died in my arms in a lonely hospital room in the middle of the night. Her death was dutifully recorded in obituaries as peaceful. It was not. I can’t describe the depth of my relief when her face and her emaciated body relaxed, finally free of pain.
This was not the first brutally painful blow during a relatively short period of time, nor the last. A cliche it may be, but since I started the garden I have watered bare dirt with tears and a landscape of beauty has emerged. Not just outside my door, but also inside my life. I consider myself blessed.
I’m moving on soon, into the next and best phase of my life. I’ll take the gifts these years have brought me and leave what I no longer need behind.
And that’s where the metaphor ends. Gardens may be ephemeral, but I am not.
“Life isn’t about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.“