A garden runs through it

April 11, 2018

 

I remember a classic movie once upon a time, and the river was a powerful symbol of continuity, change, unfathomable power, and unimaginable depths of mystery and intrigue. Not long after viewing it, I visited my Mom - far away from my (then) Arizona home... and discovered an equally fascinating metaphor for her life, and possibly ours - her gardens. 

Before going on -- I must state the obvious -- gardens cannot exist without rivers. One feeds the other - directly or indirectly. If a "river" is a symbol of a life force/source... so is a garden. But in the case of garden... it brings it to a more personal -- and individually accountable level. How have we 'tended' the garden provided us?

The word "garden" was the answer for so much relating to my Mom. "Where's Mom?" "the garden" "What's Mom doing?" "working her garden" It was even an answer for the "What's for dinner tonight?" ... For all the veggies, they were "picked from the garden."  No word adequately describes Mom's dinners from those afternoons... the freshly picked tomatoes were the impossible pinnacle of a tomato's perfect expression... her corn on the cob... sublime. Green beans with the small, baby potatoes ... let's just admit I  licked the screen after that last entry. Sometimes she made cornbread, sometimes biscuits... occasionally fried chicken or a pork chop intruded... But the 'piece d'resistance'? Always Mom's veggies.

Outside her home Mom performed similar miracles on her flower beds. They were explosions of carefully managed and orchestrated colors. Mom loved not just the color of a flower - but it's shape, it's volume, it's ability to demand attention. In her later years, she would plant her garden like a conductor, waving her trowel like a baton to show where colors, shapes, contrasts and -- essentially -- beauty would be expressed. And today, walking around the gardens surrounding my back yard -- I remembered her. Thanked her. And hoped my joy was but a reflection of hers as she "worked her land."

 

Today, in my garden, I found a few spots of beauty, and thought I might share them - no matter how many hundreds/thousands of miles away you might be. Like my Mom, I find that beauty gives me joy, a moment of relief and celebration, a space to inhale and consider that - regardless of the ugliness in our world, the things beyond our power and control... we can still not only find -- but plant, cultivate, and revel in a place where the world is better for "my" effort. And that just may give us the resolve to fight those destroying a beautiful country, and a beautiful way of life.

I love Plumeria (above) a flower [tree, actually] we discovered in Hawaii. I have 5 in my yard - and 5 more growing from seed. We have a bed of roses, iris, multiple stands of Bird of Paradise, and then vine plants/flowers we can only adore... we have no idea of the name [except the purple flower immediately to the right of the rose -- it's call "Mariposa"... butterfly.

 

 

 

 

 

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