Though I’d intended to hibernate on the 49th day of my brother’s passing, I walked down to the end of our street and then another street to attend an outdoor neighborhood meeting. We live on a county non-maintained road, and 100 years ago a map was drawn up of “paper streets”. Now, living in different times, we navigate the issues of overcrowding, drainage, fire danger, and unethical developers. The silver lining is we meet our neighbors. The downside is it can be unsettling.
As I walked back the woman who organized the meeting invited me into the magic that is her garden. They have an acre of land, and as do I, she feels the vibration of the Native people, the Coast Miwok, coming through. She wants to honor the creatures who live here with us, the plants and microorganisms in the soil.
She has done all the gardening work herself, and I see how it fuels her energy to fight development that would take away even more land from the creatures with whom we share this land: deer, possums, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and even a mountain lion at times.
I walked through a tunnel of flowers and a fairy garden paradise. Pictures can’t capture the magic, but I offer a few.
I post the above and see it as enough but as I read a book on grief called The Grief Recovery Handbook by James and Friedman, I see I left out where I was most touched. It felt too tender perhaps but I look at that word compassion and realize it’s important I share a little more. Lee pointed out an amaryllis that hadn’t been blooming at 8:45 and yet there it was at 9:45, like this.
Then after an hour or so of winding paths, she showed me where a redwood tree was cut and where it now comes back. Renewal speaks.