If you’re like me, you are so ready for winter to be over. I live in Northeast Ohio, and the last two winters have been brutal. Each winter seems to be longer and colder than the last. It needs to end! I’m ready for spring, but even more than the warm weather, I’m ready for spring flowers. Just like many Amish people, I love to garden. I don’t have much space for a garden, but I make the most of what I have, and by mid-summer, the land surrounding my home is bursting with flowers. I miss them, and I find that surprising because last summer was the first year I had my own garden. My mother passed away the fall before, and I inherited her home. She always had a beautiful garden, the best on the street. One of my fears after she died—and I had many—was all of her hard work in the garden would die too because I wouldn’t be able to care for it. How could I hope to live up to her standard of beauty?
In my family, gardening is a tradition. My great grandfather was a gardener, and my grandpa would tell me all of his dad’s secrets for a glorious garden like using coffee grounds as fertilizer and egg shells to keep slugs away. Mom followed in their tradition, and now to continue on, it was up to me.
I jumped in with both feet. I bought seeds, plants, and fertilizer. I read dozens of gardening books and magazines. I watched hours of gardening tips on YouTube. I spent countless hours outside even well after dark planting, pruning, and weeding. Through it all, I discovered I not only liked to garden, but I was good at it. I suppose that’s bragging, but it came to me as a complete surprise because I have killed every houseplant that I’ve ever known, but outside my plants flourished. My neighbor even started calling me Farmer Flower, the same nickname he had given my mom, by the end of the summer.
But more than realizing a hidden talent, I found a way to grieve the loss of my mom that was active. I cried many of tears on those flowers, but they were good tears, tears I needed to shed to survive. Since she died, I had never felt as close to her as I did as when I was in the garden. I could hear her advice in my head and I felt her love with each flower that bloomed. And I knew she was as proud of me for bringing her garden back to life as she was with every book I wrote. After this winter, I am ready to go back into the garden and spend time with my mom again.
May all your flowers bloom!
Repost from Destination Amish