My garden in my place of refuge. When life is tough and the days seem to become a never ending relentless grind the garden is my quiet place and peaceful haven. My refuge from both the real and imagined tragedies of life.
It is in the garden that my mind can release my demons from the day or week. Those petty hurts, those mistakes made in haste and the painful frustrations of expectations not met. Those things that can relentlessly eat at you all begin to dissolve into the warmth of the rich brown soil we have worked years to build. As the dirt runs through my hands a new beginning flowers and takes shape in my soul. For here I can have absolution and move forward into forgiveness of self and others and eventually into gratitude and grace.
The garden clears my head and puts the priorities of life into perspective. When issues seem tho have become intractable or so cloudy that there is no end in sight, no resolution to be sought, the garden offers clarity. The scents of earth and flowers or fresh dew and clean air can clear away the haziness of uncertainty. Answers slowly rise to the surface as if magically born on the tender leaves of the vibrant green plants.
The talks I have with the women who shaped me, my grandmothers, while digging and planting remind me of a loving childhood. I tell them of my day, how everyone is doing, ask them for help and then imagine the advice they would have given. A sense of oneness with those who have given their love to support me in the past envelopes me while working under the warming rays of the sun. Gardening for my grandmothers was part of life and survival and it makes me wonder if the garden gave them the same respite that it has afforded me through the years.
Gratitude. The garden allows gratitude to flow. The soil and sun give me an abundance of food and a place of comfort. It allows me a place to give thanks for beauty and to contemplate my life and the things in it that are cherished beyond all measure. My list changes as do the seasons and the weather. Yet my gratitude allways includes the love and forgiveness of my wonderful husband, the beauty of my grandchildren and children, the ability to see the grace that surrounds me every day and most of all the love of extended family and those that have left this earth and watch over me in the setting sun.
May everyone have a "gardening" place in their lives and enjoy Thanksgiving with those whom they love.