After the loss of a loved one, there seems little or no desire to pursue any pleasurable endeavors. Maybe it's sheer lack of enthusiasm. Maybe it's guilt. But, inexplicably - yet ironically predictably - I found myself on the road back to the peace and solace of my garden.
Perhaps it's Nature's simple continuity of life - in spite of our human tragedies - that first diverts and, ultimately, centers those of us who garden with our hearts. And it's impossible to escape our hearts.
Even those times when the pain follows me into the garden on mornings before the sun hits the front beds and gloomy fog still hovers in the tall oaks and pines, it dissipates like the fog when I see the first butterfly or the diamond dew drops in lady's mantle leaves. Chipmunks dart past my feet playing tag; a bluejay frenetically splashes in the birdbath; a gentle breeze rhythmically sways the feathery plumes of ornamental grasses; a red tailed hawk casts a sudden shadow in the rising sun as he swoops over the house. And I realize I'm not crying anymore. My eyes are too busy taking it all in. My frown alternates between smile and awe as rapidly as the arrival of the early shift of bumble bees collecting first-morning's pollen.
"Without having experienced pain, how can you recognize and truly appreciate life's simple pleasures?", my mother used to say. So I guess the pain is a necessary evil if it means continuing to savor the beauty right outside my front door by ensuring that habitat of hope and healing remains and thrives. Although there'll always be days when I'll struggle with that logic, I will also try to remember that in addition to Nature's wonders guiding me back on a more peaceful road, there are always angels in my garden and in my gardener's heart to help me find my way back.