Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Shall we compare our hearts to a garden —
with beautiful blooms, straggling weeds,
swooping birds and sunshine, rain —
and most importantly, seeds.

Terri Guillemets

It is a  little late in the season, I know, but I have talked so much about my magical garden that when I came upon a few pictures, I tried something new.  Before I ended up misplacing them again, I took a picture of the picture, and it worked.
 My tomato plants can be seen in rear.    In the middle I had planted my cabbage, kale,  and eggplants.  Beyond that and not pictured was my herb garden--mint, basil, oregano, and parsley.
My cucumber plants, a wee bit of the kale, and a partial view  of my herb garden. Aside from the cucumbers, morning glories also cover the fence. They were so beautiful at dawn when they were decked out with all their glory.
That's me admiring my watermelon plant.  One evening at dusk I sat outdoors eating a slice of watermelon to cool off and  dropped a few pits Before we knew it, they had taken off.  It was such a magical place.  (This was me in 1994) How dark my hair was!
Summer was about to close, and the plants were growing yellow and thin. This is one of my eggplants. I had many that grew much larger.  If only I could find those pictures.
This is that famous sunflower I've mentioned so often.  Note that the window it reaches up to is the second floor of my house.
My mother-in-law planted this bush the first summer after our move.  She said it is a 'spirit plant' which will keep evil spirits from our property. I don't know the name of the plant, but it sure took off and grew like wildfire.  One of my pepper plants sits nearby.  

This garden was a part of our first apartment, a three-room basement apartment, and to get to our little haven, one had to go down a long flight of stairs.  It wasn't much, but I loved it.  I was devastated when the landlord came and told us he had sold the house, and hoped against hope, that the new owners would ask us to stay, but they had plans for the apartment, and we had to go.  I cried when I said good-bye to my magical place, but I have so many fond and beautiful memories...

My precious little Twinkie was born there.  She was Miss Minga's daughter.  She chose not to come with us when we moved so she ran away.  We tried going back for her several times, but it just wasn't meant to be.  Twinkie had often disappeared for days and would return well fed and groomed so I know someone else in the neighborhood must have loved her as much as I did. I comfort myself with that thought.

We were living  there during the blizzard of '96.  I remember rising in the morning and opening the back door for my kitties to go relieve themselves.  The wind had blown all the snow against our door, and it was over my head.  Needless to say, neither kitty was going to try it.  Thankfully I had some litter in the house to use for ice, so I poured some in an aluminum baking pan, and that was their potty for a week.

My mother-in-law, bless her soul, used to take dried beans and toss them about the garden.  As soon as hubby and I saw their shoots start to bud, we pulled them up.  She never could understand why everything but her beans grew, but we were afraid they would take over and strangle off all our other plants.  Today when I think about it I feel a little guilty and wish I had given her her own little plot of land, but there really was no room.  In the far back of the yard was the strawberry patch and the apple tree. And just in front of that we had planted the  different kinds of lettuces, the watermelon, and the honeydew. 

There were cookouts, good neighbors, laughter, and love.  We celebrated our first Christmas together in that apartment. That was the year that my sister-in-law became foster parent to a young boy with AIDS, and we made that holiday so special for him.   But mostly I remember my quiet evenings in my magical garden when it seemed as if I had been whisked off into another place and time. Quiet times, surrounded my quietude and darkness. Lightning bugs flashing, or were they fairies?  The only sound was the crickets.  The racoons knew enough to stay away.  They knew that was a magical place and should not be disturbed.

It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since we left that place, and, in all honesty, I'd move right back in if given the opportunity. I know that will never happen, and even if it did, it would never be the same. I have changed; my body has changed.  I could no longer tend to that yard as I once did. My body won't allow it.  That was  a part of my life that is over now. It was a stage of my life, a time of joy, and  I will forever have my memories. 

It is good to be alone in a garden at dawn or dark so that all its shy presences may haunt you and possess you in a reverie of suspended thought. 

James Douglas


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I love that you can look back upon those times and your beautiful garden with such joy. I had to move from my house and my magickal garden over a year ago and I still ache for it. Maybe, I'll get to a place like you are where it doesn't hurt so much.

  3. I just loved this posting. Thank you. Let us know if you find out the name of the spirit plant.

  4. What beautiful memories you have! You look so happy in that picture!

  5. That is a beautiful space! The "spirit plant" looks a lot like Rue.