Archive for the ‘gardening’ Category

It’s February 1st and today I saw the first crocuses pushing through the slightly snowy mushy earth. Every year I look forward to this day–the first flowers waking up even when there’s still snow on the ground.

I gasped when I saw them surprised by their early arrival. Immediately I grabbed my phone to snap a picture and send it to the one person who would be as happy as I was to see it.

It was a fresh punch to the throat to remember in my excitement over the flowers that she’s no longer tied to the ragged threads of my heart.

It’s just not the same without sharing it with her.

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Phipps is gone. I mean, not really. But it’s gone for me. The magic it’s held for me all these years is dead.

I went a few nights ago with friends to enjoy the holiday flowers and lights, but it was just painful. Too many memories.

It was one of our favorite places to go together, especially in the winter–the warmth, the dirt and flower smell, the locally grown, delicious food in the cafe–it was flora therapy for both our souls. I’ve been looking forward to spending plenty of time there through January and February to help ward off the inevitable deep winter depression. To relive, in my imagination until she came home, those many calm and happy moments we had together strolling through the gardens, testing our memories for the names of various plants and flowers, just enjoying the company of someone who shared our mutual love of plants and gardening.

But now it’s poison. This place that was a respite, a safe haven from my various mental and emotional demons, this place that I’ve used to keep me emotionally connected to her while she’s away…it’s turned on me.

Her presence haunted every path. I could hear her voice reminding me of the names of flowers I can never remember. I could see her long fingers stretch out to gently hold still a single blossom for me to inhale. She’d always ask, “Does it sniff good?”

Everything smells sweeter when I share it with her. I learned so much from these visits, not just about plants, but about her, about us, about peace, about the soothing effect nature has on me, about the importance of shared interests and passions.

My love of growing things existed before we were together, and maybe it will continue even now that we’re over. But it really might not. She’s a true nurturer, a true gardener. She brought to life and cultivated this seedling interest I’ve always had, and it’s flourished and grown into a full-fledged life passion under her care and influence. It’s likely to whither and die without the gardener, and I’m honestly willing to let it. I will never enjoy poppies in the spring without her. Who will be excited with me when the first brave crocus or snowdrop (I learned from her that they’re called Galanthus) peeks its tentative greens through the frozen winter ground? I don’t care whether my paw paw trees produce fruit if she’s not here to share it with me. Every plant in my garden will wilt in the shadow of so many painful memories that used to sustain me while she’s been away.

But life will not be returning to my garden this spring because she’s not returning. What’s the point in having a beautiful garden to wander through when I don’t have her to share it with me? It’s just not the same to make rounds through the garden and talk to the plants without her. It doesn’t matter whether they’re in my yard or at Phipps…

…they’re all traitors now.


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