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  • The garden is full. There is a rabbit that insists that my Swiss chard is the best in town, and commences his evening nibbles. The aphids agree, and feast on the squash. I get the impression that they are hosting me and not the other way around.

    But I am thankful, I have my garden back even while the threat of foreclosure screams from behind the fence. The pickets have warped on the fence or fallen off entirely and the fountain is broken and the weeds that were seeds back in the fall have taken hold. They all have thrown me down for the count for what seems a daily battle.

    The space, the sanctuary that was a private haven was a memory that dug like a sharp knife when I would think on it during our time in exile. The decay and neglect of my sanctuary, a place he always knew I loved so, thought of as a child, is evidence of his hatred for me. The kids say it looked worse last year at this time.

    I resisted loving it because I didn't know how long we, my kids and I, would be back in the house. I resisted pruning the wisteria because I didn't want to feel used. Requesting help in the garden from my kids felt like setting them up for heartbreak, again. Committing myself to the planting and growing of the tomatoes or carrots from seed was an exercise in futility. As a whole, it felt like all I was doing was rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic: fix one thing, another thing falls apart and for what? Just to be sold away, or foreclosed on, either way gone is gone and this time for good.

    But then, the snap of oregano on the tongue awakens me. The thrill of cascading acidity down my throat from the warm flesh of a tomato invigorates me. The released scent of lemon verbena crushed in the palm of my hand entices me. The jump of a hoppy-toad gives us both a fright makes but makes me laugh. The realization that nothing is ever mine, really mine, it will all have to go, humbles me. Tending the earth, finding beauty in the weeds and watering a garden, any garden, with more than tears while dwelling in the presence of a Creator that always responds to a call for Beauty, is my call to live, and to live abundantly.
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