Mother’s Garden

garden

Last night steady rain fell here in the garden,

flooded now with memories of my mother.

The morning sky

still hangs low with heavy clouds

and leaks pale yellow light here and there.

“Sunshine is good for the Cannas,”

I hear her say.

I wonder if she ever knew how little I cared;

how unimpressed I was at the time

with her gardening wisdom?

Nurturing her garden was my mother’s gratification

… a diversion from the unfair hand

she was dealt.

I pull weeds from a patch of Begonias

and remember her happy.

I watch ants parade through the Peonies

and remember her healthy.

I prune the Roses, deadhead the Daisies,

and tie the Clematis a little bit higher for dramatic effect;

but my efforts don’t match the beauty

of Mother’s garden.

Sunlight fades; the air is still.

I realize I’ve tended the garden all day long.

I imitate the Lilies

which have folded themselves in prayer.

“God, grant me another day,” I ask

“filled with memories of Mother’s garden.”

The Quiet Battle

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We left home several years ago in the wee hours of a January morning to attend a 10:00 funeral that was 3 1/2 hours away. On the drive we passed a beautiful farm where the morning fog was just beginning to lift. Last week we made the same trip for yet another funeral and we passed the farm again, but this time it was a bright summer’s day. I took both photos through the car window with my cell phone. Same farm, different season, years apart!

The following is a re-post of a story I wrote the first time I saw the farm:

THE QUIET BATTLE

Morning fog invades a lovely Kansas farm in the pre-dawn hours of a clear winter day. The fog will lie low for a spell, transforming rest into stubborn courage for the fight that looms ahead: an inevitable skirmish between Fog and Sun.

As Fog hunkers down, it blankets winter wheat and hugs the stubble of last year’s corn which lay dying in the field. It settles itself along the fence that separates the farm in stately fashion and it laces haunting fingers through the trees. It covertly surrounds the silo, the barn, the shed; and forms a luminous halo around the single light left burning to ward off possible dangers tempted to lurk in shadowed corners.

At sunrise, the battle begins. Fog is brave and refuses to yield, but the fight does not rage for long. Sun is a strong and formidable enemy. Flanked on all sides with no place to hide, Fog is swiftly defeated. Forced to surrender, a virtual white flag is waved as it retreats.

When the farm is fully bathed in golden rays, you would never suspect that a quiet battle had ever taken place here.