Broken things find a new home there as well. A chipped blue pot rests on its side with yellow succulent ground cover spilling out. The top of a fountain with two little bunnies found a second life after its base broke. A family of ducks (one with missing legs) shares the path with a family of sea turtles. A small boy with the body and wings of a bee holds a watering can and smiles at all who enter. There’s a large pinwheel with two rotating circles that spin in opposite directions at the slightest breeze. Sometimes I send the children on a hunt to find the animals or let them play and move them about. No one needs electronics when they come to Grandma’s. There are so many fun things to do and the garden is a favorite.
I like to work and water early in the morning before it gets too hot. I wonder how Adam and Eve spent their days before the fall. Work was always part of the plan. Genesis tells us God Himself worked in creating the world and then rested. Work and rest are both holy and uphold the dignity of man made in God’s image and likeness. I think our first parents would have enjoyed digging in the earth as much as I do with the added benefit of no gnats, mosquitoes, or other biting insects. Were they as charmed by finding snails as our little grandson Max?
My most recent addition to the garden was two strings of solar lights wrapped around the trunk of the “tree of life and hanging in its lower branches” They give the garden a sweet nighttime charm. I also gave Baby Jesus a solar night light at St. Joseph’s feet. The lights remind me of the stars in the heavens as if I’ve gathered a few for my garden. The fact that they are lit up by the sun reminds me of the power of the Son’s grace to enlighten my mind and lighten the burdens of this vale of tears.
Do you have a garden that calls to your heart? I think Mary did. Maurice Denis, a French painter, created Madonna in the Blooming Garden. Mary holds Baby Jesus who, with wide-eyed wonder, looks out on the world. A small child (representing the child we are called to be perhaps?) stands by Mary’s side. Two angels kneel in the foreground with other angels in the background.
That’s how I imagine my garden – filled with angels. Do you have a paradise garden, a miniature Eden, to remind you that the Kingdom of God is among us? G.K. Chesterton once wrote, “It is strange that many truly spiritual men…have actually spent some hours speculating upon the precise location of the Garden of Eden. Most probably we are in Eden still. It is only our eyes that have changed.” And so I rejoice to have eyes that recognize my little garden as a mini-Eden.[See https://lesfemmes-thetruth.blogspot.com/2017/06/time-out-for-true-good-and-beautiful.html to see the painting.]