Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Thursday, May 22, 2008


The garden is still primarily a patch of dirt - dirt with small plants sprouting up. Unfortunately I can't tell the difference at this tiny stage between the sprouts of seeds deliberately sown and weeds declaring a space theirs.
Are you a violet or a weed?
Baby's breath or weed?
Sunflower or weed?

There are a few other items planted in the new garden. Two small butterfly bushes; one should have white flowers, the other purple. A trellis with a decorative glass centerpiece. One small clematis still establishing a root system has heroically produced 3 mauve flowers; it's neighbor on the opposite side of the trellis appears to have died. This dead clematis is a transplant, coming from a spot by the deck where it struggled for years, its main stem badly damaged during transplantation by my clumsy movements. Can clematis be propagated through cuttings? Without even bothering to Google it I have taken clippings, placed them in a glass of water on the window ledge above the kitchen sink, and examine the submerged stalks daily looking for sprouting roots. So far nothing.

The memorial garden itself is in a rather unfortunate location. It's an oddly shaped section of soil, surrounded by brick pathways, at the Northwest corner of the house. The centerpiece of this section of yard is the air conditioning unit. Also included are an old stump from the huge tree that leaned over the house when we first moved in, and a sharp dip to the land where the rain gutters let out and the rushing water has eroded away the dirt. The rotting stump provides growing grounds for interesting fungi.

I'm sitting outdoors facing a patch of dirt, thinking ... all you can do is smile gently at yourself sometimes. Two days ago the horn from a car behind me, urging me to the appropriate action called for by a green light, snapped me from reverie of wondering if this was the afternoon my life would change with the arrival of the latest self-help book ordered. It didn't arrive that day, but yesterday my anticipation was fulfilled by a small package in the mailbox. Frantic skimming of the opening chapters filled me with hope that "When Bad Things Happen to Good People" could provide much desired information.

"Oh! The places you will go!" My life has turned into a search for meaning, a search for an explanation for a dead baby. Or, in the chance that there is no explanation, a way out of this slump. While waiting I tend the garden ... digging ... watering ... watching for growth.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

-Dr. Seuss

No comments: