I think everyone needs a garden in which to escape. It is really good therapy.
I mean, unless you don’t like gardening, in which case, obviously, you should choose some other hobby.
It is also helpful to have someone watch your kids, as they tend to run away (18-month-old) or play with sharp tools (4-year-old) while your back is turned. Not always possible, but it makes the “therapy” part of having a hobby much more effective.
I am grateful that God gives us things to enjoy. It is healthy to enjoy things. I also think it is a gift to be able to enjoy things when life gets you down. And perhaps, this thing I enjoy is also giving me some control over a segment of my life, which is a good feeling after losing a baby by an unknown cause. There is so much outside of our control (but not God’s), that perhaps it’s just nice to escape into something that I completely control. Or maybe it’s just that I feel like I’m unlocking a lot of potential to create something beautiful out there.
The above is a photo of the back section of my yard, which I uncovered today. It had been totally overgrown with old, gall-covered forsythia. I left the forsythia pruned in an upright position at the top of the hill. Hopefully it will behave itself now.
The previous owner was in the local garden club, and I feel like I’m discovering “The Secret Garden” or something. I walk around and wonder what the yard looked like in its glory days.
I found this walkway under a bunch of dirt on top of the hill, behind the forsythia. I knew there was a patio up there, but didn’t know about the walkway. Maybe another day I will uncover more of it. I often imagine the family up on the patio – maybe just the parents and their friends – sipping lemonade while the kids played in the yard below. Maybe they played bridge, like my grandparents did.
The past two times I’ve gone out to a plant nursery, I’ve decided to buy something that will make food for me. I have no idea if it will work, but they were cheap, and so am I, so I figured I’d try. The one on the left is a strawberry plant (I need to acidify the soil, I’m told) and the other is a zucchini plant. People keep telling me I am going to get a ton of zucchini. I’ll believe it when I see it; I have never grown food in my life. I am going to be so proud of myself if it works. I’m actually already proud of myself for stepping out on a limb.
And finally, here’s a happy little bird feeder I painted a few days after the baby died. Again, it was something I’d been wanting to do, something I enjoyed, and something I finally had time for. I wasn’t able to do much on my feet, so having a little project to do while sitting was a quiet escape.
I just can’t get the birds to come to it. Can they tell that the bird seed is like two years old? …. Uhh, sorry birdies. I’ll get you some new stuff at Wal-Mart.
It’s been a week and three days since our loss. I know people’s prayers for us are really being answered. We have had a lot of time to rest at home, be together as a family, and feel cared for by so many people. I kind of feel like we’ve been living in a bubble. God is showing us His faithfulness once again, and has given us peace with His sovereignty and love in the trial. In all the sadness, I know that God is good, and that in the future, we will see His purposes in this. The strong grief we felt at first has been replaced by a calm sense of mourning, though I fully anticipate waves of sadness to wash over us again when we may not expect them. All in all, we are thankful – for all our friends, for the body of Christ, for the ways people have shown us compassion, kindness and love. I would never have chosen this trial, and hope we never have to go through this again, but through the loss we are seeing God’s care and glory in ways that may not otherwise have been revealed.