On a warm spring evening I was sitting in my friend’s garden and admiring its beauty, her creativity and hard work! All of a sudden interrupting my musings was her daughter Ava Lu. “Kim, I want to show you my secret hiding place!” And we were off finding places where imagination is unleashed behind the beautiful hydrangea bushes and other flowering plants all over this incredible garden space. I was engrossed in her fantasy world and ruminating on the fact that someday she would sit at a table with women friends and talk about her Mother’s garden and she would tell of how she dreamed here, played here and found expression to her girlhood secrets and feelings and then I realized I was in a full circle moment, because this wasn’t just any garden.
This garden wasn’t created just for pleasure or competition it had actually become therapy. A place of tears and anguish, a place where private thoughts and feelings were allowed to flow freely, a place to wash the sorrow from my friend’s heart, here with hands in the dirt she learned to accept the No and Yes of infertility. As she dug and planted in the earth, God was digging and planting in her heart, letting go of what would never be for the magic of what was yet to come.
And here was the full circle moment…the place that had contained her tears and flourished because of her pain was now the place of fairy tales and secret garden moments for her beautiful China Doll. The swirling words of scripture, you know the trading beauty for ashes kind of promise became a living breathing thing as I Played with Ava Lu in her Mother’s garden.
A couple weeks later I drove my parents to Chico so they could visit with family and get a little break from their routine. While waiting to get into our hotel room we decided to go by my grandmother’s home that now houses college students. We went to take some pictures and walk down Memory lane; I was delighted to find there in the side yard, there was still a huge bush of Hydrangeas. They once lined an earthy vegetable garden. My grandparents grew many kinds of plants and flowers but my favorites were the Hydrangeas that were gorgeous and lined so many walk ways of their home and garden, and the tall, regal sunflowers that would grow in the back of the vegetable garden. I played in them as a girl and longed for them as a woman. My grandmother holds a unique and powerful place at the foundation of the woman I am today.
I rarely talk about her to anyone because those memories are my own secret garden. It was outside that garden I talked to her about everything, there is a lot to talk about when you are 5. She died when I was 20. I believe that is where my love for gardens real and metaphorical began and in every home I have lived in there have been Sunflowers and Hydrangeas central in the décor and garden design dominating the central living spaces. I wanted my home and my life to be a garden for others, a place to sit in the cool and drink tea and share life.
And that is what this blog is about a place to share what God is teaching me and those I love and hopefully it will grow something in those who read it too.
You will find catalogued here my first forages into writing…early plantings.
They chronicle the last 22 months of our lives and the “uprooting” and “transplanting” that we have experienced. Regardless of how difficult the pruning has been the Master Gardener has been attentive watering, nourishing and designing His master plan in us.
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” 61:3