My last two posts have focused on the inner workings and transformation of house, home and human in the wake of profound loss. It was so gratifying to see my post, “Staying in Place”, written earlier this month recently featured on the Facebook Page of Soaring Spirits, International, and to see it appreciated by those who are in the Widowed Trenches, as well as those coping with other kinds of losses.
This past week brought us the first day of spring, so I wanted to transplant that theme to the Great Outdoors where I’ve tried to carry on in this yard with the help of others, honoring the spirit of my late husband who left this world nearly one and a half years ago just about now.
Rich loved gardening and working outside. Being from the North, he made the most of the shorter Northeast growing season and then when we moved south to Georgia, he became obsessed with growing different plantings and of course having his very own peach tree. For some reason, however, he had a difficult time finding one until one day, he spied a scrawny peach tree for sale outside the entrance of our local Winn Dixie.
He planted it in our backyard, but not much happened until one day, a singular peach blossom appeared. We truly had a peach tree, as in one single solitary peach. It was perfectly shaped, juicy and sweet. It’s gratifying to know that this Jersey turned Georgia Guy had realized his Southern Dream and had actually grown and enjoyed a perfect peach in the Peach State.
The following spring, now widowed, I watched as another singular peach began to bud and then bloom in the very same spot as the one the year before. On the day I decided it had ripened to perfection and was ready to be picked, I was disappointed to find that some wild critter had beaten me to it.
I could almost hear Rich laughing.
But this year, we have several peachy opportunities after a new local friend added nutrients to the soil and now we may see more fruit on those branches, although some of that potential has been challenged by our recent cold snaps. Time will tell and I will keep you posted.
Rich also loved his Banana Plants and we acquired four of them in pots. He’d amuse himself by attaching cardboard images of two bananas to the plant leaves and telling people he’d grown them. The first winter after his passing, the temperature dropped to below freezing and I’d forgotten to bring them inside. They proceeded to “die off”, and I sadly hauled them off to the woods in back of our home. One day much later, when the days began to warm up, I went to retrieve their containers only to find the plants had begun to regenerate. Rich had always said that down here, many plants could recover and come back to life even after severe cold episodes and not to give up on them too quickly.
He was right.
I brought the three surviving plants back into the lanai and watched as they slowly came back to life. I guess there’s a parable there, I should point out the obvious. Each winter, we experience a cold snap or two. Some plantings die-off with no hope of renewal, but it always surprises me how some beat the odds and begin their long crawl back to full beautiful foliage, stronger than ever.
Maintaining a good-sized yard and large screened in lanai has its challenges, but this place I call Villa Haven has brought be comfort through good and challenging times and has been an unexpected blessing. I look forward to the growing season to come.
Added Note: Today the Men and Women UCONN Huskies continue to dance in the March Win-ds. Wishing them much success! Last week I brought my pup Quint to an Eye Specialist in Jacksonville, FL and I will write about his diagnosis soon and Monday, I will be “transplanting” my parents to their new home nearer to me. Lot’s to write about this spring. Have a good weekend.