This season has seen the steady advance of the hydrangeas - they've grown at such an astonishing rate that their heads nearly block the boxes from view! It's strange and beautiful, this alchemy that exists beyond the house. The plants have a secret life to which we gardeners are not privy.
The blueberries are starting to ripen, but will we enjoy them? Not a one. The critters make short work of stripping the fruit at peak - it usually occurs in the space of an afternoon.
Alone with my thoughts this humid Father's Day - in my mother's south garden. I'd volunteered to do cleanup when I realized how shaky and unsteady she has become. Her excellent health has always been a mainstay - something to depend upon. But the events of this past year have taken their toll and nowhere is this more evident than in her neglected gardens. It's painful to see and hear my mother struggling with emptiness and sorrow. I try not to lift the curtain on her daily existence - the long solitary hours, the meals taken at the table alone - the silence that penetrates each action, each moment. I want to be more. I want to be a better daughter. And I always fall short of this goal.
And then it was time to go to the nursing home where my father lies waiting for his heart or some other organ to fail. He has been in this place for over a year now, and I cannot, for the life of me, understand how it is so. There are no road maps for these territories - no guides or sages to lead the way. I sit beside his bed and struggle to find words that will engage him. He has his high clear moments which evaporate or shape shift into scenes I am not privy to. The cat in the window, the dog in the yard.
Driving home I am overtaken by grief.