Sunday, June 20, 2010

The window boxes are planted.  In years past I would combine heliotrope and sweet potato vine as well as artemesia and begonia, but this year is an ordinary theme of impatiens and coleus because -
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.  


Exuberant Color said...

I am so with you on the parent thing. I watched my mother failing and then die last year and now Dad's dementia, good days and bad days.

Your flower boxes can be viewed from the inside anyway, and what a view with color and then hydrangeas. Nature's beauty will keep us going.

Zoey said...

I am not looking forward to the day when I have to go through that with my parents. It must be just heartbreaking.

The hydrangeas are so lovely. You must have an acid soil to get that nice blue color. Too bad about the blueberries. Did you ever try to put netting over them?

Paulina said...

My dearest friend. We are at that age when we are surrounded by the issues of age. What can we possibly do? Nothing. There is no solace for those afflicted. It is all a matter of time. My mother has now entered that state of mind. All I can do is to write to her. I cannot miraculous change her failing mind, her immobility, her loneliness. So I write and I constantly remind myself that I cannot take on the suffering, because my suffering over her state of being is pointless. It changes nothing. It only serves to make me miserable in a world when I have so much to accomplish. Does that make me insensitive? I hope not. I work at keeping myself healthy and filled with so many things that I have yet to learn. That way, when, if ever I have the time, I find myself unable to run around with my head cut off, I will have a plethora of projects I can sit and work on that will keep loneliness and boredom at someone else's door. Do you know what I mean? Your suffering does not relieve her suffering. Create, instead, in her honor. Don't depress the dying. Honor them.

Bea said...

You have such a lovely home.