The Lost Garden

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A cool northerly wind whisking through my hair, the residue from the harshness of a winter that has just gone by. Each day, slowly becoming longer, brighter. Each day brings sunbeams to warm my soul, to warm my days without you.  Each day that passes, is another day that you drift farther away from me.  As I make my way to your garden, there is still evidence of the moistness of a cold winter that has just passed. A chill passes through me as I stand at the garden gate, silence in my heart; looking in, remembering, reaching deep into my heart for the memory of you.

The dawn of the early morning light will soon come to crest over the horizon. I stand at the gate, trepid. The dark of night still has her shadow cast upon all that was once full of light and love. But now the garden seems to be filled with ghosts of the memories of you and all that once was. My hand rests nervously upon the gate. The once shiny, white paint is now peeling and dingy from lack of your loving care. I reach over to lift the latch. It sticks at first, and I struggle with it for but a moment. With determination it soon opens with a loud squeaking sound, rusty for want of oil. I close the gate carefully behind me, then turn and stand silently facing the stone path.

In the silence, I listen for the sound of the song birds that used to sing in these trees, the sounds that used to fill the garden with lovely songs of joy, and fill the air with love. But all I hear is silence, the quiet nothingness that awaits, as if everything in the garden is waiting your return. But there will be no return. My heart aches to have such feelings. I gasp as I turn to look at what was once an ‘Eden’ of hope and light for me. The beautiful garden which once held so fully, all the colours of the great Goddess’ palette, a garden which held fragrances that would stay with you forever. Nothing would ever compare to the essences and aromas of the flowers that once bloomed here. I see the signs of Spring, buds on the lilac bushes and tulips peeking through the ground.

The garden bench is cold, and grey.  I sit, for a moment, to grasp all that is, and all that was. I catch my breath and try to remember last spring. It is hard to imagine that now when all I see is the bareness of the trees, and the brown colour of the grass. The leaves are still in disarray scattered over the ground and the flower beds. The waterfall statue sitting in the middle of this oasis, sits still and quiet, the water has ceased to run out of the Goddess’ vessel. The fish pond in the corner is murky with algae, and muck, for no fish live there anymore.  The cottage is grey and in need of new paint. A shutter  hangs on one hinge. It just looms there, threatening to fall with one brisk, gale wind. Its paint chipping and fading, worn from the sun, the rain and the snow. The bare vines are holding on for dear life to the sides of the walls, hoping; waiting for new life to begin. Clinging to the vibrant past they had known once only not too long ago.

Slowly, I walk down the winding stone garden path, past the flowerbeds containing only brown twigs from a garden that wasn’t pruned from the season last. I pull my scarf tighter around my neck to protect it from the brisk wind that had suddenly crossed my path as I make my way to the stone cottage.

The cottage sits in darkness, with no life from within. I am taken back to my memories of you. All around the garden I can feel remnants of you. In my mind I can see you tending to the garden, you did it so painlessly, and effortlessly. To watch you work in the garden was like watching  symphony performing. It was breathtaking. The garden was your home, your life. But it was your family that always came first. You held those who knew you close to your heart. You loved them all the same. Without complaint, without reserve.  With no prejudice, no judgement. Only with love. Your heart and your soul was filled with love. You were a golden light for everyone whose life you touched. You offered unconditional love to all you met. There was not a time, nor a person who was not affected by what you had to give. Your smile, your love, a kind word, never once asking for anything in return. For you got all you needed from your garden, from the Goddess. Love came to you in many forms. I saw it in your face; your eyes lit with such Joy and Grace every time I saw you. I was never too certain if that is how you always appeared or if being in this place was what brought such pleasure in your life. You lit up the world with your presence. You were a woman, a daughter, a wife, a mother, a sister, but mostly you were my friend.  So full of life and love. Mostly though, you were a goddess; Mother goddess of the earth.  This garden was your home. You were like the great mother herself, you had so much to give, so much to share. The fae loved to dance with you and you kept secrets with them, I’m sure.

As I approach the cottage, I pull back the brush and gingerly step up onto a rock, close enough to reach the window. With the sleeve of my coat I clear away a circle big enough to peer through. I look into the dusty window, the darkness from within hurts my eyes. I squint to try to see what once was. Its hard to see beyond the curtain.

Stepping down off the rock, I go to the door. Unlocked, the door slowly creeks opens, and I step inside. I check the light switch, but the power in the house is off. Looking into the dimly lit room, it is a small one room cottage, just a kitchen for your cooking and baking.  In the corner there is a small wood stove for heat. An old copper tea kettle sits upon it.

In one end of the room there is an old stove for baking, a small cupboard for storing dry goods, a small fridge, in the corner and a tiny sink. The hutch along the back wall holds your china teacups, saucers and plates. The drawers still hold your linens and silverware.

I walk over to the hutch and examine the faded pattern on the dishes. As they sit there lined in a row, waiting, almost beckoning, to be used again. Having tea on these dishes was a wonderment of excitement as they brought me back to a period of time that I had only, until now, dreamt about. The room seemed to be waiting for the glory of life to re-enter it once more. Looking around the room, I see the life it once possessed, and just like magic the room lights up. The smell of your homemade baking wafts through the air, together with the aroma of coffee brewing on the stove, awaiting my arrival.  We always had so much to share with each other.

On rainy days, the small table by the window was carefully set so that we could look out at the twinkling of the rain; the magnificence of the shower as it nourished your beautiful garden. Your hand would rest upon mine to comfort me when I was feeling harsh and not entirely complete. You showed me how to love, and how much magic there is that exists within the harshness of the world. You showed my heart how to shine, just like yours.

The table by the window now sits bare and empty, its wood exposed to the severity of the dampness. There is a draft in the room, and the door slams shut, bringing me out of my trance.  I walk over to the door and open it once again. Standing in the doorway, I am taken back through my memories once more. Back to a time when the day was sunny and bright, when we would take our coffee mugs outside, and walk through the garden. On hot days we would sit on the swing, under the shady oak tree. Some days we sat on the bench facing the faery garden, full of ‘Johnny jump ups’, ‘foxglove’, ‘bluebells’… and more flowers that brought kindness and love to the fae people. The fae garden had shiny windmills that twirled in the wind, ‘whizzy wigs’ I think you called them. Mirrored trinkets that hung from the Maple branches that hung over head. Dancing and swirling in the sunlight. I remember laughing so hard when you told me what they were.  We talked about how the faeries were drawn to circles and all sorts of shiny things. The mushrooms that grew in in this garden grew in small circles. One day you promised to take me to visit with them. You would share their stories of frolicsome and mischievous behaviours and how they would love to come and visit with you. There was a commonality between you and them, you would say.

Looking over at your faery garden now, I wonder if they are still there. Have they moved to another place? To another garden? Or are they patiently waiting for your return to this one?  Were they as home-sick for you as I am? Would I ever really know?

Spring days were my favourite times in the garden, with the smell of dew on the lawns and the tulips as they began to bloom. The lilacs; my favourite, would be blooming filling the air with the richness of their perfume.  The garden was like somewhat of a Renoir painting, dappled with an array of colours, so rich with greens. I just wanted to stay there forever.

Time did not slow down the process of life in your garden, for with the summer came the pansies and hyacinth and each year the roses bloomed in full. Each month, it seemed, your garden had a new scent. I never really knew which scent was your favourite. Was there one? Or perhaps you just loved them all.

I remember the cool autumn nights, when the richness of the months before begins to die down and prepare for the winter months ahead. There was such an aura about you garden, it was so appreciative of you, and I could feel it! You planted and cared each day, heart and soul for this garden, and it gave so richly back to you.  We would sit on the swing with blankets wrapped about us, cups of hot cocoa in our hands. We would sit and talk for hours. We would laugh, and we would cry. And sometimes, we would just sit in the silence. Loving life, loving each others company.

When the winter came, you would start a fire in the tiny cottage, and the air was filled with the aroma of your baking.  Cookies, cakes, tarts and pies. All of them you would give away. All but the special batch of chocolate cookies, the ones you baked for me and my visits with you. They had extra chocolate chips, of course.

I sit on the step of the cottage, the sun begins to rise. I look up, and see rays of sunbeams casting a spectrum of rainbows down upon me. Pretty greens, yellows, purples, pinks and blues, all the colours of the Goddess‘ palette. At that moment the garden fills with colours. As if the Goddess herself painted it. I hear the song of the birds fill the air, and it is in this moment, that I begin to realize, you, you are this garden. Just as you are the colour and light of the love within me. For as long as I love you, you will always be in my heart, just as you will always be in this garden. There, over in the rose beds. I see you bent over, with your basket, as you clip some of the finest rosebuds for the table.  It is time for tea.

~Angelyn~

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Imitations of Life

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You can walk through nature at any given time and be fooled by life that imitates life. A plant that at first glance can look like a deer, or a branch of  a tree that may seem like a bird… camouflages, things that appear to be what they are not.

Twice this week, I have been accused of negative words, or thinking, when in fact it was not. This caused me to ponder over my own words to think about the messages I was putting out into my life.

Life is not always what it seems, and something that may appear to be one thing is in fact one thing that replicates of something else. Even words.  My words, were just that.

Both these times when words were spoken, I was not in a negative place, and my thoughts were neither negative nor extremely positive… they just were.

So like all quandaries I get myself into, I go to the one being that I have trusted all my  life. My Guardian… and it was there that it became apparent to me that like most things in life, nothing is one or the other. Nothing is just black or white, sometimes things are just what they are. Facts.

Many ponderings over this have revealed to me that even our words can be just that. So as listeners, we must learn to hear what the person is really saying and pay attention to how we are receiving the information we are hearing.

Perhaps we choose to hear the negative connotations of what is being said to us because we are in a place where that is the only energy we are relating to at the moment. Are we quick to judge another’s words and be the accusers because we cannot bear to admit this to ourselves? Is it easier to judge another of being in  a dark place because we cannot see we are there ourselves?

If we listen with intention, we can see that words, or our interpretations of them can imitate where we are in our own selves, on our path, and in our lives.  And if we are truly honest with ourselves, then, and only then can we truly change.

Gratitude within us

Very often in life do we ever realize what we have until it is gone.. People, places or even things. We have them, they are part of us, and they are gone. While many of us don’t realize this, but it can feel like a lifetime has passed and one thing in our life will trigger the response. Will this do it, likely not. But if we are conscientious about it, we will.

Like the traits we inherit from our families, the inconspicuous nose on our face, wide set eyes, hair that is too thick, or too curly… but what about the wonderful traits we possess, not just the deep blue eyes, or the beautifully thick hair, I’m talking about the kindness inherent within us, the integrity. Are these possessions that are passed down too?

I have always found myself to be a giver, something that came naturally to me, something that both my parents portrayed without even thinking about it. I saw the smile on my mothers face when she would give a batch of homemade cookies to the neighbouring children, as if it were something she did for herself, not for them.  Perhaps this was one of the small joys she got from her life.

This week, I have been learning what it feels like to be the receiver of these small unbelievable acts of kindness. I was given the gift of a plant. A weed actually, yes, a weed, but not just any weed. It was a weed that has meaning to me.

I had never heard of “Herb Robert”  in this way. She spoke of how this plant is indigenous to the area and how she learned that it can be used as a police for bruising. Upon gifting me with two wee pots of this herb, she also handed me a photocopy of its description so I could read about all the uses of this herb and how it grows. I was grateful at her token.

But it wasn’t until I read the first line of the copy that I truly understood how grateful I really was.  She had handed me a ‘magical herb’… The first line I read was “Common name: Dragons Blood,…”  Wow, did she truly understand the power of what she had given me? OR how much I would really appreciate this gift. Perhaps she did? And it was at that moment that my heart skipped a beat, and elation filled my body.

Did I truly understand my Gratitude for this gesture? Probably not at that moment, but I most certainly do now. This is a plant that I didn’t know existed in this area. But have seen the written words in my magic books, to be honest, I didn’t really know it was a plant. And now, I had this in my hands. And I will treasure it for always…

It feels so good to be on the receiving end; I wonder if my mother ever had the chance in her wondrous life to be there, to feel the way I feel at this very moment. I certainly hope she did!

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Peace in my Heart

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The song of the Robin begins before the sun begins to crest upon the earth, and this morning I awaken with a newness that my heart has not felt in sometime. Eagerly, I prepare for my morning walk.

There is a new vibrancy about this morning, not just within me, but within the land herself. Goddess Mother is singing her praises this morning. The smells are wondrous about me and the variety of birds chorally sing their praises at her work. I smile. This indeed is a beautiful day…

I feel free.. There is nothing but me.. And the beauty of nature that surrounds me. Love surrounds me.. I am Love… and I am all there is.  I release all my fears to you, the great Mother/Father God, and I ask to become pure and whole.  Bring to me the Peace that I seek. Fill my heart with love.

I release all that does not serve purpose in my heart. I release all that does not serve purpose in my life … And I return to the wholeness of all that is.. And all that shall be,
And it is for these blessings that I am truly grateful for.

Blessings to all…