Thirty-One Days in The Garden

Posted in Monthly, Best-Loved at 4:05 pm by Pasha

For 31 days I was nourished in the garden of my mother’s love. I grew beside my siblings and tended to my nieces and nephews as they blossomed into spring flowers.

Only one month home seems like an excruciatingly short duration. But alas, I must count my blessings for the time I had.

My early arrival in Fredonia, at the log cabin where I grew up, was, at first, sorrowful. We had lost the matriarch of our family, my grandmother, and I went home to stand in where she wouldn’t be. I flew as quickly as possible to hold my mother’s hand while she learned to fill the niche that Grammy had left.

But joy overcame the pain we all felt and almost immediately our tears were replaced with laughter. In death we found life.

At home, with my mom and dad, my sisters and brother, my nieces and nephews, life was tremendous. It was filled with mornings of prayer, afternoons in the garden, and family dinners served at the island in our kitchen.

Every little memory flooded back into my soul. We picked up right where I had left off the last time I lived at home, when I was 19.

It was the little things, the teeny habits of life on the hill. Things like knocking on the wall five times and always knowing there is a person on the other side of it to knock back twice. Or yipping Chihuahuas when a car pulls in. And holding my mommy in the morning as she whispers softly that she loves me.

I had gotten used to my best friends, my sisters, only being a drive away. I fell into sync with baseball and T-Ball, shopping and dance recitals. I became so used to the smell of a baby as it slept on my chest and the giggle of little girls as the “Kissy Monster” chased them.

It was everyday of making dinner and having my father tell me I have become “one hell of a cook” and my older nieces whining at my orders to clean the dishes. It was the stories we share from a lifetime together, told over and over, yet never dulling one bit.

It was home.

During my month at home, the bonds between me and the people I love flourished. I would have thought that once, just once, there would have been a fight or hateful words. But there was none. Instead, there was only a longing for more time, for more talks, for more gentle caresses on one another’s skin and advice that only a sister can give.

Even now, I am searching, searching for a way to feel that way always and forever. How can I search the world around, when so much that I love is right there?

Hours later, I am still aching. I am wishing for them to walk in the door. I am wishing for baby kisses and mommy’s everlasting love.

This morning, at the airport, she walked me to security and held me tight for the last moment of my trip home. I broke, my heart broke, my knees felt weak. She stood at security as I weaved down the line. I turned away for only a moment and when I looked again she was gone. I searched for her reassuring face in the crowd but I couldn’t find it again.

I knew my 31 days in the garden had come to an end.


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