Last year at this time, I was just finishing up this photo shoot:
And I’ll confess, I’m missing the pure romance, the exquisite beauty of photographing weddings. I drove past the just-blooming willow tree last week and ached to place some young couple underneath it’s swaying branches.
One comment on Segullah caught my attention last month. It was from Kathryn Soper, a soulfriend and the kind of writer I wish I could be.
You can’t force yourself to grow, develop, change, evolve, or become. You can only open yourself to what life brings and allow yourself to be taught and to be changed. Whatever your circumstances are, there are lessons embedded that will enable you to become your best self. But this doesn’t have anything to do with outward achievement. The most effective lessons are the ones that seem to set you back; the only success that matters is your success in transcending fear and maintaining peace within yourself.
Don’t you love that? I do.
This morning sweet Mary beckoned me into the yard. It’s the first truly warm day in Utah– not just above freezing– but 63 lovely degrees of sunshine. Donning our matching gardenboots, we trimmed the unruly Mary roses and began pulling weeds just for the sheer joy of digging our hands into the dirt. Suddenly ambitious we pulled out a rake and the garbage can as we overhauled the flowerbeds. There, beneath the dead leaves and prickly brown branches we found fresh tiny shoots of green. Mary and I called to each other in delight–
“I just found some pansies.”
“Look at all the starflowers!”
“Those heart plants–what’s their name?- are over here.” And I joined Mary as she cleared away the leaves and told her about bleeding hearts— that I’d grown them in every garden as had my mother, as had her mother.
Sniffling, I put a cage over one plant that had already been crushed. Mary put her little hand on my cheek and turned my face towards hers. Seeing my tears, she nodded her head and said, “Grandma Zoe always had a very beautiful garden.”
And my grief tasted sweet.
Tiring of scratchy sticks and dirt in our nails we did what all good gardeners do– jumped in the car and visited the nursery for new flowers. We chose pansies, primroses, ranunculas, English Daisies and candytuft– all flowers that can withstand the snowstorms and sleet that will surely come in the next few weeks. Mary danced and twirled down the aisles, making up silly songs and pausing occasionally to spin a cartwheel (yes, even with her rainboots on). It was one of those moments, those many moments, when I wanted to call my mom and tell her beautifully Mary is growing up.
Instead, I bought two bleeding hearts.