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I woke yesterday morning to rays of sunshine highlighting my front garden.

Call-to-Wake

The garden as it greeted me yesterday morning.

Don’t misunderstand me; I was already up and pottering around, but I was not yet awake. And I certainly was not awake to the needs of my garden or of my need to be in the garden.

It has been a long, tiring journey for me over the past few years
…..a journey of alarms that sound like pain
…..a journey of alarms that penetrate the body like the loss of breath
…..a journey of alarms that make demands, that require notice
…..a journey of slowly, awkwardly, tottering back-and-forth, joyously, ……….reluctantly, yet choosing the work of, waking up

entering my garden filled me with a sense of the
               sacredness of the particularity of my life
I was invited
to remember
to ponder
to wonder
at the journey I have been on

For many years, like Mary the mother of Jesus, I have been met with things I didn’t understand, and there is much that has been “stored up in my heart” while I continued on the best I could, the best I knew how.

I am a fair-weather gardner
I find energy and inspiration hard to muster in the winter
…..and so, my garden sits untouched
……….and withers
…..and as the browns and grays take over
……….I chide myself for not cleaning it up
I remind myself of all that needs to be pruned
…..in the winter months while everything is dormant
……….I look
……….I notice
……….I grieve
…..for my garden
…..for my incapacity to DO
……….to attend to what I know needs my action
I feel ashamed
…..and I begin to block my vision
…..my ability to see what is there
……….right. in front of. my eyes

The old, dead stalks from last year's life, lay fallen and untouched.

The old, dead stalks from last year’s life, lay fallen and untouched.

I don’t know what reading these words does inside you
but I do know that writing them
…..triggers anxiety and self-condemnation and loathing
…..and then the tears
……….at first hot tears of shame-filledness
……….tears of regret and sorrow
…………….AND…
……….as I greet these well-known companions
…..something happens
…..I begin to welcome them
……….to recognize their entry and their familiarity
…..something begins to stir within me
GRACE begins her song
…..a mere whisper at first – I could easily miss the notes
…..but as the melody builds my attention is turned
…..and there I find another memory
the experiences of being forgiven and received
not just received – CELEBRATED
……….just as I am
…..the experience of HOPE
and as the tears begin to cool
…..they are transformed into the waters of cleansing and renewal
I am transformed and begin to remember how treasured I am
……….just as I am

In my garden I am drawn to the markers of death that surround me
…..the faded blooms of beloved hydrangea
…..the fallen stalks of my peonies, gray and rotting
…..the black stems and pods of roses that died before they could ever bloom

Intricate beauty I had not noticed before.

Intricate beauty I had not noticed before.

I look closer as I begin to trim and prune away the markers of death
…..I am surprised with the beauty of the intricate veins that are revealed
……….now that the color is gone, the covering removed
underneath the gray and rotting stalks
…..I am delighted to discover beautiful red heads
……….pushing their way up from under their graves
further down, below the blackness of the stems and dead buds
…..I rejoice at the abundance of new growth
……….new shoots racing to offer color and fragrance again

What a beautiful surprise emerging from the grave!

What a beautiful surprise emerging from the grave!

GRACE. HOPE. FAITH. LOVE.

BEAUTY IN THE MIDST OF DEATH

Resurrection
…..the promise of LIFE that has been restored, renewed
…..the hope of what has been, what is, what is yet to be

this beauty in death has breathed new life into me

New growth is evident as the cleaning progresses.

New growth is evident as the cleaning progresses.

 it was hard for me to leave my garden yesterday

…..I savored the comforting embrace
and yet, as my hope was restored
…..desire was stirred
and with it, the empowering I so desperately needed
…..to begin to make sense of what had been stored up in my heart
and so I write
…..to move from thinking
…..to being and living
who I am
……….JUST AS I AM

for in me
there is yet
beauty in the deaths I have known

Even in the remains of death, there is a beauty that welcomes my heart.

Even in the remains of death, there is a beauty that welcomes my heart.

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