Love Me Back

Been on a journey.  More to come.  Does Life ever stop coming at us?  I think not if we still have breath.  The best we can do is to celebrate the moments that are good, grieve the hard ones and rest in between.  It is winter in my new garden.  Time to exhale.  Last summer my 2 year old transplants flourished like a 5 year old garden coming into its own. Love from the garden is now resting quietly as the nights grow long and a chill moves into the ground.   

I found these words written an echo from before the move.  Spring had come early that year.  

I am in a resting place today.  Had some bittersweet moments walking around the yard whispering to the budding flowers and trees. “Stay down, keep tight!” but then I stopped.  Relish this moment’s beauty of a too early spring.  Last fall I imagined I would not see the waking-up and coming-on here in my old sweet garden and 3 acres.  Wrong.  Maybe my flowers are trying to say hello-goodbye to me.  

The daffodils are up, a few blooming.  The button small narcissus with that big fragrance float above thin swizzle stick stems.  The forsythia is still brown with a few random slashes of yellow.  Only buds on the quince, thank you buds, smart choice.  Hyacinth crowns are pushing up. The   saturated color erupts from their tops. The air is sticky warm as I fill the bird feeder with more nugget sunflower seeds.  I pull a few dead stalks away from the green bulb heads, erupting upward-their growth too close to the surface.  I don’t disturb the leaves, a blanket that may be needed, then wonder if that is true.

The future is so misty and unclear.  So much change coming.  I loved my garden and it has loved me back.  More than I ever imagined.  Someone told me that my garden gave me the love I needed over these years when I couldn’t figure out any other way to find some.  It is so mild and April-like today in mid February.  So here, but not yet feeling so.  Time does not roll out evenly.  It is as varied as the landscape, harsh and uphill, then slightly level, slowly trudging along.  Sometimes flat and monotonous, or careening forward in waves, or twisting through hills and mountains, completely out of control.  

Love though is a constant.  It is not jealous, or unkind.  It is what hope is made from, and dreams, creating fully alive.  Love is not neglectful or conditional.  It remains whether storms cover blue skies or mist hides solid ground.  Love is how we act and treat those around us, people, trees and flowers.  My garden is a love machine.  I put a little love in and it pours out all over me.  

Love.  It is always love that draws us toward, keeps us grounded or gives us wings.  

I read that dirt has something in it that elevates moods. Any gardener could back up that claim.  Dirt is medicinal, nutritious whether you have feet and hands or roots and leaves. Watch young children, pulling off shoes and socks, toes on earth, hands in mud.  They are in love with dirt.  A brilliant study, noted in the WSJ, affirms that simply staring at a tree can decrease stress and increase cognition.  A single tree, stare 2 minutes, get smarter, feel calmer.  Get hands dirty, get happy.  Love.

Outside we are small and nature is awesome.  It’s good to be right-sized.  Summer storms pass.   Leaves descend.  Winter solstice arrives.  I miss being loved back by my old garden.  Glad I had a shovel and friends who dig moving.   We made a new garden to love and it has already loved me back.  

Winter snow, frost and the muted world will stay for awhile now.  Let us feast on our memories, gather and celebrate another grand year passing.  For me it was a year of new paintings, big adventures, deep loss and great clarity.  I am fully grateful for all of it.  May 2019 seasons of dreams fulfilled, those forgotten and uninvited changes spin a wooly cocoon around each of us during this resting time. The New Year is coming with another beautiful unpredictable share of Time rolling out in front.  Buckle up. 

Peace be with you today and all the days ahead.  



“Fresh Air Painting on the Mountain”

July 08 - July 12, 2024
Monteagle, Tennessee

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