Thursday, September 8, 2011


This morning a long-time friend showed up at 8:30, "ready to work."  She had volunteered to help me get the backyard ready for our Prehearsal Wedding Dinner next Friday.  This is the kind of offer you half-expect will evaporate before it comes true.  You always try to talk your friends out of these things...       ....because the folks who forget to show up out-number those who do....       .....and you know you can get it done yourself, if you take your time...   ....if you're careful....   .....and you don't want to cause anyone any trouble.....

She brought her gloves, and a bag of gardening tools.  Pausing only long enough for a cup of coffee, she was soon in the backyard, pruning overgrown bushes, pulling up dead annuals and weedy shrubs, clearing the paths.  She worked hard, and fast.  She slowed down in only one area, to "create some art"....because she saw the way an old tree root curled up toward a budding plant, and wanted to clear a view of it from the path.  I heard her tell the plant, "Now you make sure you bloom on the 15th!"

She knows I have a fondness for the big rocks in our yard, and she asked where they were, and worked to pull old plants off of them.  She cleared the holly away from Finster-the-dragon.  She trimmed low-hanging tree branches.  I sat on the path, just a few feet away from where she was working, and worked at pruning nearby weeds, and placing solar lamps near the steps.  But that didn't last long.  She insisted that I stop working - said it was bad for my back, and she absolutely was NOT going to let me "mess it up right before the wedding."  She said, "Just take it easy.  You can keep me company if you want, and let me know how I'm doing, but that's all."  I took it easy.   And talked, a little, about how wonderful it is to garden.  She said, "I know you miss it.  Don't worry.  If you take care of yourself now, you'll get back to it soon."  Between you and me?  My back was hurting this morning, and even though outloud I felt embarrassed not to be working, secretly I was relieved.     .....      

"Everyone hears what you say.  Friends listen to what you say.  Best friends listen to what you don't say." (J.L.)

"A friend is one who knows you and loves you just the same." (E.H.)

Riff and Keeper kept us company.  The dogs seemed to know that I was feeling a bit awkward and out-of-sorts, and they made me laugh.  I loved watching them smile, and wag their tails.  They loved running to find the toys I hid around the yard for them.

What a precious morning.  Lots of gardening was accomplished.  And a part of my heart was restored. 

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you've forgotten the words." (Anon.)

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