Now I understand the sacred nature of tending a tribute. The garden has taught me three major lessons:
1. Grief, like many of the troublesome weeds in this climate, has a tap root. It travels underground and sends up little shoots at different intervals. A gardener may pull out a shoot, and even part of the root; but the source remains. It always will. A tender gardener strips the new shoots and works away at the root without disrupting the flowers.
2. Flowers need nurturing. Ensuring proper light, a fair amount of water, and nutritious soil all help, but love, patience and kindness bring about the most vibrant blooms.
3.Beware of the nettles, but don't be so fearful of getting pricked by them that you don't feel the wholeness that comes with planting. Every being has experienced loss. Tending to the loss of others brings us closer to examining how we have been impacted by grief. Sometimes the sting catches us by surprise. Sometimes it makes us appreciate the beauty of the garden so much more.
The garden has evolved over the years. In addition to the hyacinth and tulips, it now is home to bleeding heart, daffodils, a rose bush, and a healthy smattering of annuals. When the hyacinth bloom as they are now preparing to do, the yard is filled with the sweet fragrance of memories, and I am grateful for my part in its growth.