Monday, March 10, 2008


I spent the day planting a little flower garden under the walnut tree in our back yard. The tree was there when we moved here almost twelve years ago. It was much smaller then and the yard didn't have much landscaping. The girls use to bury things out there and build fairy houses.

The second year we were here I planted the most incredible vegetable and flower gardens. The strawberries were obscene, and the sunflowers looked like trees. It was magical. We had a big patio and I hung a hammock between the two beams that kept our awning up. The girls and I would lay out there for hours reading, napping and just talking.

Over the years the yard has changed, it has grown with us. The third or forth year I dug a giant hole under that tree and made a real pond with Koi fish, a pump and big fat river rocks. It was so relaxing to just lay in the grass in the leafy shade watching the fish swim and one day water skimmers arrived. It felt so incredible to be responsible for this living system.

When Noah arrived we filled in the pond worried that he would fall in. I planted Iris and lambs ear, and tulips.

Years went by and when Noah was water safe we put in a small hot-tub, very retro and round. In the winter when the leaves had gone we would sit out in the cold night air in the steaming water and look at the stars and moon and feel so lucky, so content.

So much has changed. We put in a sun room and a little lap pool taking away from the big vegetable garden, there is still room to make a fairy house if anyone wanted to though. I now garden in two small raised beds, mostly tomato's and herbs.

The walnut tree is much bigger and today I dug in the ground where a bird, hamster, guinea pig and rabbit were buried a long time ago. I turned the earth and revealed time, layers of time.

I planted flowers and bulbs weeded, cried and put in a statue of a young woman holding a little bird on her finger. I made a little dry creek bed out of the rocks I found from the pond and rocks the girls and I painted when they were younger.

I sat in the grass sweaty, muddy and tired, tears rolling down my cheeks as I remembered it all.

This is where I will come to be with my girl. This is where I came when she was diagnosed, when she relapsed and when I couldn't breath in her room because I knew she was leaving. This is were I have played, prayed and fallen apart. This is my little place on this planet were all my joy and sorrow are mixed.

All I can think of is the Wizard of Oz when they find the poppy field and fall asleep until the good witch makes it snow.

Stevie would love the poppies, she would hate the statue and she would gladly lay out there on a blanket with me while the wind blows the white blossoms off the apricot tree. The only snow we have in this part of California.

I love you sweetness, I miss you with all that I am. I am surviving but there is a price.

Audrey died five days before you, there is a connection, I know it.

Come sit with me in the garden and tell me where you live, I bet the tulips are year round and smell like honey and sweet peas.

Sweet dreams favorite one.

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