it's that time of year again where i really start to think about my mom a lot.  right about now, three years ago, she went into the hospital, which is where she would spend her last days.  i remember counting every blossom of every flower in my yard in portland... all of the plants i had planted, dirt under my nails in the hot sun, turning in the year-old kitchen compost, everything we ate becoming black gold, churned into the vapid soil to make hospitable beds out of dry clay.  i remember cutting those blossoms proudly to bring to her room, anything, anything to fight the beeping and buzzing and clicking of hospital ephemera, the sterility of plastic and the smell of sanitizer.  i would bring fresh flowers from my own garden, a new bouquet every time those flowers started to begin to wilt.  it was all i could do, everything i could do, even after she went to sleep and didn't wake up again. how it all flashes back sometimes, especially this time of year.

today, i woke up sad.  it happens when i don't expect it, even three years later.  i guess that's inevitable.  james asked me:  is there anything you can think of that will make you feel better?  outside, through the window, i could see the sun peeking through the clouds.  springtime.  suddenly, i knew exactly what to do.  I pulled up my sleeves, grabbed a spade, and set to work in the soil.  life abounds in the garden.

wild world 


  1. These are so beautiful! I'm so proud of you for continuing to work through that grief, and always finding new and more ways to keep on keeping on. I think you make your mom proud all the time. I hope missing her brings you closer to her in some way. This time those flowers are there from her to you, that's what I think.

    PS We've got some colombines for you!

  2. Jessie.Those same flowers, that you left behind for your Dad and I, grew tall and beautiful, and colorful and proud.. I would cut them too, and bring them to my Mom too, and in her room, a room of hospice , the flowers made her smile. They made the staff smile. The hospice nurse, and Pastor, and the cooks, and the laundry lady, and the volunteer piano player, harp player, anfd the lawn mower guy...all of them... would come in and smell them, and they would hold her hand, and smile together at those flowers. When they would wilt, I would change the water, wash the vases to a sparkle clean, and fill them with fresh flowers, some little tiny ice cubes, and more and more beautiful flowers from your plantings. There must have been at least 100 days those flowers brought her joy with a new bouquet, and each time, I saw my Mom's ice blue eyes sparkle from those flowers .I would hold the flowers close to her nose, and she would smell a loooonnnngggg smell and look up at me,... A wonderful memory. Now she is gone, but dammit, I dug those flowers up, all of um..and they went with us...to the beach. They are there, they are safe.. No way they were gonna be left behind. Thank You Jess, for you. Sarah

    1. if it weren't for the garden, i'd be clinically insane! growing plants was just as healing to me as the flowers were to all the folks who benefited from them....and it sounds like many!!.....what an amazing thought that we can create such vibrant life with our own hands! it brings me hope for the future. i can't wait to see your new garden with the addition of those trusty old flowers ;-) love ya.