Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A thousand words

I remember the day I met her; it was in February. She and Joel were heading out while their agent worked the open house. I held my hand out to hers, and I remember she appeared rushed. The next time we saw each other was in July, in the in-between--she was outside pulling weeds, and I swept alongside her and listened as she told me how and when to prune things.

That was the day she showed me the captain's bell under the vines, after I mentioned I wanted to get one.

We've kept in touch through Facebook. We message back and forth in spurts. I've seen her a couple of times when they are in town. I think she's curious about the changes we're making here. A part of me hopes she isn't disappointed.

I post pictures online. Partly because of how much I enjoy the photos. Partly because I want to share them with her. I wonder if she misses the cherry tree blossoms in spring; the yellow blanket of buttercups in the field; the path of marigolds along the walkway; the view down the pasture; the wooded stand of trees in winter.

I snapped a photograph of tadpoles and she HA HA'd how she remembered. Those pictures I post online, they mean nothing to most people, but to us, they conjure up all sorts of things. For her, perhaps it's familiarity and the twenty-plus years she raised a family here. For me, it's the connection (between us) of home and memories being made as we raise our girls here.

Beneath this photo she wrote, "You really make (this place) shine." I was so humbled. She planted all these gardens and worked them all those years. She knew what she was doing. Our agent asked me, "Do you like to garden?" And I replied, "I'm not sure. I always wanted to garden--I just never knew where to start."

I mostly pull weeds and throw down mulch. I'm learning year to year through a lot of trial and more trial. Some days I'm wondering if I'm making any difference. And every season it feels as if I'm starting from scratch (oh, the life parallels!). Even now I wonder, how did I ever streamline this process? I suspect, though, that what she sees shining through these pictures is the love I have for everything here.

And that speaks volumes.

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