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Garden Angel 2015Henry’s birthday was gentle, and it had nearly everything I needed, barring him.

As we ate our chocolate cake with our neighbors, a cardinal swooped by as if on cue when Julie asked, “Where’s the cardinal? Don’t we usually see a cardinal?”

The kids pretended their chocolate cake and whipped cream was bird poop. Spirit of eight-year-old boy?

And then I had my garden time. I weeded and edged. I thinned and transplanted. I mulched and replaced the heart shaped stones. I sweated and my mind wandered.

This haphazard garden is one place I have never planned. I simply fit things into the space I have. Sometimes tall things end up in the front or plants are too close, and when they are, I move them. This garden that I began in 2008 with a couple of hand-me-down perennials has expanded and filled in and flourished.

HenrysGarden2015I went from peaceful contemplation in the garden to lively chaos at science fair that night. And somehow that was right too.

The next day I woke up feeling lighter. My hips, aching for days, felt looser. It is not that I don’t think of him now that his birthday is past, but the pressure, the anticipation of that day and all the hope it held has passed once again.

Friday I took the day off from work. I stayed off Facebook and didn’t open my email. Saturday i absorbed all the kind words and messages that people sent my way on Friday: thinking of you, remembering with you, holding space for your story.

Today I stood in my Gore-tex waving to my big girl on the bus. Today I told my little one about camping in the rain as I drove her to school. Today I checked my email, focused on work, went to the dentist. Today a gentle rain fell, soaking into the too dry earth, enlivening all the green, kissing the swelling peony buds. Today I stood in that rain and smiled.