More grows in the garden than the gardener sows... | Daylily Blog on Kindred Spirits

Most of the time I feel like I'm on the cusp of a particularly spectacular nervous breakdown.  You know, the kind where you sit rocking back and forth on the cold bathroom floor, crying over the five extra minutes it took to peel potatoes? 

Yes, that kind of spectacular.

It just hasn't been a great week for my insides- I'm feeling overwhelmed with autumns tasks, lamenting over some huge events in 2011 and generally feeling alone and sad.  Woe is me. (insert collective sigh here.)

Last Friday was Grandparents Mass at my son's school, and since his grandparents are all at least 500 miles away, and ours are all passed on, my husband and I went to mass and represented our past generations for our son.  Thoughts naturally drifted to my grandmother, Elizabeth (Lizzie, to her friends) - a Polish lady of great church stature, with a quiet voice and loud, kind laughter that could stop a clock.  She died at 53 - way too young - just after my ninth birthday.  This photo was taken by her of me in her backyard in 1977. 

Those marigolds behind me still haunt my senses; I'm teleported to this exact photo - this moment - everytime the sour odor of marigolds floats by me.  This was my first garden - the place where I smooshed dandelions in my palm, ate sour clover, rode a go-cart for the first time, stepped on way too many stinging bees and chewed on honeysuckle vine.  It's where her old, cranky poodle growled at me from across the yard, daring me to come any closer to him so he could bite me again.  It's also where I was when I learned she died.

We never gardened together, but today I never garden without her.  I hear her voice and feel her soft skin on the warm breeze of autumn.  She's still yelling at me for bending tall scapes of Hemerocallis Fulva down to my level - you can read more on this here. 
Last Friday, on the way to work after the morning mass, I found her in my thoughts more than usual. 
"I'm doing it."  I told her.  I'm raising my son, sending him to a really good Catholic school, tending to my husband, making our home fabulous, voraciously sharing my love of dirt with others and caring for my aging parents from afar. I think she is proud that I leave my corporate office and spend my lunch time working the lunchroom of my son's school - a job that she held full-time at the parochial school my mother attended as a child.  Quite often my grandmother would take me with her for her lunch duties, and I would spend hours in the kitchen, underfoot of many smock-adorned lunchladies who treated me like their own.  

"I'm doing it,"  I repeated.  I hope you are, too.

Gardening forms the strangest - and strongest - bonds.  Reach out today to your kindred gardening spirit, because so much more grows in the garden than the gardener sows... 


Anonymous said...

This is beautiful. I know your grandmother is beaming with pride. Those beams are magnifying the sun rays to make those flowers grow even better. For me, it is my Great Grandmother and sewing. I always remember how good she was at it when I am doing particularly terrible. - Catherine


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