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"And I Love Her"

© Eddie Rhoades

The sun has barely broken daylight and I am already in the garden. The cup of decaf in my mug warms my body and hands just as the sun will soon warm the day. There is a mist in the air which gives the garden a dreamlike quality. I pause and look around at the entire garden from my far corner and slowly close my eyes. There is no one in the garden but me, or so it seems ...

Since Mother Nature and I have been having our little steamy affair she has forgiven me for my insensitive comment about putting steroids in the hummingbird feeder to make them grow. It was just a joke but I admit some people don’t recognize or appreciate that type of humor.

I was still sitting there on my favorite garden bench about to drift off into a sleepy dream when she came out of the mist and sat beside me. Without her actually saying so I could sense that she wanted me to share my deepest feelings about our future together in this garden. I talked of my many plans and apologized for taking so long to accomplish them - I'm not as young as I used to be.

She said "I know, neither am I." Mother Nature has been around a long time but I have to admit she still looks good in spite of all she has been through.

"Rocks, I said, there must be lots and lots of rocks to lend their strength and permanence to the garden and grow old with lichens and moss and a patina of time etched on their surface." She smiled and I knew this was good so I went on: "There must also be water" I said, as I waved my hand in a broad arc signifying that water features would be spread throughout the garden waiting to be discovered like eggs on an Easter egg hunt. Garden rooms and theme gardens would be placed just so, where there would be an air of mystery as one walked down a curving path to discover what lay just out of sight beyond the bend. Wondrous plants would be throughout the garden - plants to delight the eye, plants to smell and plants with fruit to eat. Oriental features would be incorporated to lend an element of Zen and meditation. There would be yard art to delight both young and old and it would be tastefully placed and not over-done. There would be native plants plus exotic plants from all over the world. One must admit, we live in the golden renaissance of gardening where more plants are available to the gardener than ever before in history.

I paused and she turned to me and gave me that Mona Lisa smile. I was under her spell and I longed to grab her tightly and pull her to me and crush her lips with mine but I dared not. One must always give Mother Nature the respect due her, after all, she has earned it.

A songbird lit on a limb to my right and I turned to hear its beautiful melody. When I looked around she was gone but I sensed she wasn't really "gone", she was merely not visible to me. In a sense a certain spiritual part of her will always be with me and in my garden. And how do I show my love and appreciation for someone so mythical and mystical ? Someone who has my undying love and respect? Garden well, that is all that is asked of me.

 
 
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