Sometimes dreams that are inside of us, longings, etc., must take their own time and path to get to the outside of us and become a reality. It all begins inside. It’s how we are. It’s our part in this big plan we call life on earth.
When I look back at my 62 years of life on this earth, I am simply amazed at the amount of dreams that have come true. It’s pretty remarkable. My garden is up there toward top of my list.
I remember years ago my mother gave me a greeting card. It was at a low time in my life. A time when all was far from hopeful. A time when my life was pure survival. I was a single mother who had a country girl’s heart, living in beautiful Idaho but in the city. Inside she wrote a touching note of encouragement. She did this many times throughout my life. I’m so glad because I saved them and go back to them from time to time, as a reminder of the strength that is always within my reach.
The front side of the card was a copy of a beautiful impressionistic painting of a young woman who was walking down a lovely, flower lined garden path. She wore a pretty little dress. Her mid-length, light brown hair had a soft earthy look to it with shimmering sun kissed strands. She had a dog running along the path ahead of her. It was a little black and white one, that appeared to be eagerly leading the way. The path led to a small, stone, country cottage. The scene was serene looking, with a garden gate and a beautiful carpet of flowers surrounded with greenery.
I remember looking at the picture in a bit of a spiritual way at the time, studying every detail, owning it, making it mine, adopting that entire scene as a reality for my own life. I felt like I wanted to step right into that picture in the same way Mary Poppins did with Burt, on their “Jolly Holiday.” The difference is that I wouldn’t want to ever leave it, like sensible Mary Poppins did. I wanted to make the scene, the serenity, the beautiful life-filled surroundings, mine.
It was years later, after Mom gave me that card, that I met Doug, an Illinois farmer, and we were married and I had to move to “the flat lands.” The little rural farm community that would be my new home was named “Joy” of all things. The farm house we moved into had virtually no trees and had not been tended for years. It was hard to move there after living in the beautiful northwest for so many years. I would look out that kitchen window and I would picture in my mind that little greeting card my Mother had given me and the painting, or at least something similar.
And so that’s how it happened. I created it, in my own way. I needed to make this space, this flat, lifeless space, into something beautiful. Piece by piece, little by little, year by year and day by day, I went out and created a tiny change in the picture.
My garden looks very little like the card that my Mother had given me. Oh, it resembles it, with the cute little flower lined, stone path leading up to my little cottage style tool shed and there is a woman, myself, that walks that path as often as her life will allow. And she is always accompanied by a little black and white dog. In fact three generations of black and white dogs throughout the years, have walked that path with me, forcing me to face the undeniable mortality of not only myself but my furry little best friends. It’s my picture. It’s been my canvas. It became my life.
That little picturesque card my Mom gave me wasn’t the only thing that inspired me along the way but it had its place and I can’t help but think that my sweet Mom at some precious moment saw this card, gazed at the picture and thought of me, and bought it, knowing it WAS me. Why? Because she is my MOM and she could see my picture long before I could, and sometimes those around us see things we can’t see ourselves. We all touch each other’s lives, sometimes without even knowing it. I doubt my Mom even remembers giving me that card and it turns out its still a treasure to me.
I believe our kind words can be that to all we meet. Kindness and caring will never come back to us void. We touch people when we communicate with kindness, with respect, with caring about them. One kind word or thought can leave a lifelong mark on a person’s life. I’m glad my Mom’s kind words and that picture led me right to where I needed to be.