Once Upon A Time... A Garden

"In search of my father's garden, I found my own." 
Adapted from an Alice Walker quote, discovered on A Country Farmhouse blog


I'll skip over the rebel years and the details of the difficult child I was as was my father, a complicated individual. Nonetheless, he was the patriarch, and in companionship with my mom, raised me and my five siblings emphasizing the importance of family, tradition and non-material things. He was by profession, a doctor and by hobby... a master artist, writer, electrician, carpenter, and, among many other things, a gardener.

In my faded memory, it was when we lived in Kentucky that he first encountered the Cardinal, the state bird that would become a central theme in our lives. From there, the red bird followed us everywhere. 

His gardens were small, but always lush, well-arranged and well-appointed with hydrangeas, silver roses, poppies, lettuce, radishes, marigolds, fig trees and, the centerpiece of all his gardens wherever we lived... tomatoes. I, reluctantly, was one of his helpers. Dismissive and uninterested as I was then, I didn't realize that while he was nurturing his garden, he was also nurturing me.

CHAPTER 2: MY SISTER'S ROSES  Scroll down for the beginning of the draft

It never comes as a surprise when a treasured brooch or fine china is handed down to a child. The ritual gives importance to an object regardless of its monetary worth as it transforms a piece into an heirloom. The object's greater value is in the memories it conjures and the journey on which it takes you. Far more precious than any brooch or table setting, though, are the inheritances that may not be tangible but are oddly present. Such are my sister's roses. Rambling climbers on an arbor, their pops of bold pink bring prettiness to the arch and adorn a portal to our parents.

The roses belong to my sister, and they are central in a yard in which her garden also grows. A slight shift of your eyes to the right and a scroll up to A DEDICATION reveals my mother's love of the roses my father grew for her.  (To be continued).

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