Aug 25, 2007

Missing from My Garden

I couldn't let myself sleep tonight without putting this down first. It has been a while in coming, but now that it is here I need to harvest it as I would any other mature fruit.

This season has been one of wonder for me, I have had luck with some vegetables that I never had luck with before, and I have tried and been successful at things that I have tried before and failed at. There are times when I got out to my garden with my little harvest basket that I have been using for years, and I have to make two or three trips into my kitchen with my bounty, and yet many mornings as I stand in my little back yard , admiring the literal fruits of my labor, I realise what is missing this season....but until now I have let that thought slip away instead of harvesting it and keeping it.

The thing that I am missing the most is my father , who at the age of 69 , passed away late this Winter. It wasn't a shock, no, as a matter of fact it was something that we had prepared ourselves for, as most people do who have someone in their lives who are very ill. In the end I found myself having conversations about vegetable gardening more and more with him. I think it was partly so we could have a sense of normality around us....something to take our minds off of the starkness of medicine, the coldness of it all. Maybe it was something to help me forget the inevitable conclusion to the journey that I dreaded more and more with each passing hospital visit. Then finally because he was fond of planting vegetables and watching them flourish , and I became his link to a life he had enjoyed.

Back to my garden though, I realise now that maybe the reason I am having such a good harvest this year is because my father is giving me this as a gift. It will never replace being able to discuss the best methods of seeds sowing, or how best to fertilise a tomato or any of the million things I cherished when I was with my Daddy ...but it gives me pause to think of him in a pleasant way. That's the best harvest I can think of.

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