The great thing about having my own website is that I get to put what I want here.  My beautiful daughter is an adult now, half-way across the country in college (and on the Dean’s list, thank you so much).  Those of you with children who are teens or older might remember those tumultuous years of eye rolling, arguing and defiance, wondering if you’re ever going to get that little body who curled up in your lap while you read their favorite book to them again.

(And you might also wonder if they’ll ever really appreciate the sacrifices, the hard work, the heartache involved in raising them.)

Yes. It all comes back.

I had a pretty nasty divorce (they’re all nasty, that’s just how it is), and one thing that I gave up to move on to a better place was our house, the house with the garden I’d carefully tended for 11 years.

roses gardening garden

Julia Child roses in bloom, and holy smokes, do these smell divine

(I’m a Master Gardener, so it was no small thing. Heirloom plants that you can’t get anymore, carefully sculpted ornamental trees, every single living plant, rock and structural support placed by my own hands.)

bluebonnets

The bluebonnets were the first sign of spring–and heralded the return of the bees

Most of the garden was ripped out as soon as I vacated the premises, and what’s left quickly fell into ruin, the trees are dying, the roses diseased, weeds where once were creeping phlox, toad lilies (much prettier than their name suggest), bluebells and ajuga and germander and the weeping Japanese maples and…

I can’t bear to see it when I go pick up my other child, but it’s what it is, as the saying goes. It seemed like the only person who actually cared about it was me. Turns out that wasn’t the case. My lovely, marvelous, magnificent girl sent me this, written for one of her Lit classes at her university.


For my mother

I used to have a big window that overlooked the street
And the lampposts that loomed beyond cars and bushes
Underneath was my mother’s garden
That’s now brown and dying
Because my father doesn’t look after it
And doesn’t care for that sort of thing anyway
I pushed my bed into the room down the hall
Where the garden can’t be seen
A year later I moved away
3000 miles where the green of leaves
Matches a puffy magic marker
If you go to a park diagonal from my school
I have a small window now
That is one two three four five stories up and above
A tennis court
It smells like burning food every morning
Because I’m technically one two three four five six stories up
If you count the restaurant my building is built on
I miss blue squared wood shutters
And cliche pots of tiny dancing flowers
On windowsills
And a pink skyline
That was so Picture Perfect it was boring after eighteen years
I guess I appreciate it now
I walked outdoors yesterday
And it smelled like it used to smell
I hope my mother
Opens her own windows sometimes
And remembers the way the birds would sing
As she dug up roots in the garden
Below my
Window

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