I recently purchased and moved in to a lovely old home with a spectacular 1/2 acre wooded garden in the north of Seattle. A few days after I moved in, my wonderful and much-loved father passed away. Ten days prior, I was able to spend some time with him and showed him photos of the new house, which, with it’s white shingles and dark green shutters, reminded us both of the house he was born in on the Hudson River in NY.
I am not a gardener, and have rarely kept a house plant alive. But now I own a rambling, romantic and to me, mysterious, collection of trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers. Walking out to it in the early dawn has been my solace. I am learning the names of the plants, and how to care for them, and experience wonder at the changes that occur in the landscape overnight. The allegory of growth, death and rebirth is not lost on me. In the garden I cry less frequently. Often I work at weeding or trimming, and just as often I sit, numbly, and watch the clouds pass above, thinking of my father, the aviator, and how much he loved soaring through them.