Over the last several days, I have watered the garden with my own tears in between pop-up thunderstorms.
Sobbing has been a State of Being, and I have been taken by surprise each time and each place where you are just hit by a new wave: Hospital Stairwells, Parking Garages, inside my truck, the Ab Zone at the gym (weird, I know)…
My father, the Master Gardener, has bid his Farewell and makes ready to Depart This Earth.
To have lived 95 years is quite an accomplishment. To have lived 95 years happily is an even greater one.
Dad’s life was filled with countless blessings, however here are a few: A terrific childhood mostly spent growing up on a farm; a great set of parents; sisters; riding a horse named Old Charlie to school each day; a long marriage to a woman whom he truly loved; children; grandchildren; great-grandchildren….
And always, there were Friends, Family and Connections.
Growing up, Dad seemingly knew everyone, and to me, it seemed everyone knew Dad. He was a man of connections, a person to whom it was easy to feel connected through his warmth and kindness.
Planting a garden never seemed like a chore to Dad.
He simply loved to do it, to grow things, and to feed his family with Summer’s Bounty.
These last few years, we grew close without realizing it as we sat by the garden at his house, discussing how wide the rows should be, the exact number of seeds to sow in each row, and my inability to create one without it somehow veering left.
We would marvel together at a successfully grown Turnip or ponder the dreaded Blossom End Rot on a Tomato, or curse our wretched Luck at growing Asparagus.
Many an afternoon and early evening were spent watching Green Beans grow or Corn mature. We were nearly always joined by his favorite Pet, a tiger cat named Moses, who would roll around at Dad’s feet and then go lay on a freshly tilled spot of garden.
These quiet, mostly non-verbal times spent together were really nice, and I feel deep Gratitude to have lived them.
Whether Crops succeeded or failed wasn’t really important because the Time we shared creating them was our Measure of Success, a true gift I shall forever treasure.
With the garden, Dad & I always has Something To Talk About and To Look Forward To, no matter the season.
My Love For Growing Stuff comes from my Dad, for our Family, for Our Town, which as you know, Dad believed to be The Garden Spot of the Universe.
He felt so happy Here.
“Sweet the Rain’s newfall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness, where His feet pass.”
–Morning Has Broken, a favored Scottish Hymn of Praise.