Friday, May 18, 2007

My garden, my home

Photo by Dawn Goldsmith

We are trying to grow a family, maintain a family. But hundreds of miles separate my husband and I from our sons.

Missing my babies, my now grown sons, hits me suddenly and I look for something familiar. Something I can hold on to. Something that brings me close to them, reminds me of the places we called home when they were babies, and boys and still sticking their heads in the refrigerator looking for a snack, or dropping their wet towels on the bathroom floor or sitting at the kitchen table wanting to talk with their mom.

No, they did not spend time with me working in the garden. They avoided that as strenuously as they avoided eating many of the veggies we grew. But the garden itself is a familiar place.

The green onions in my Florida garden look like the ones we grew when we lived in Ohio or Illinois. The green peppers, tomatoes, green beans -- they stand in lovely rows as they did in each garden we planted through the years regardless of geography.

And looking at those plants, smelling their individual scents, touching their leaves and fruit -- I am transported to wherever my boys reside at whatever stage they were at. At whatever stage I am missing them the most at that particular moment.

I miss my babies. My men. My family. I need something that will give me hope that someday we can all be together, reconnected. Sharing memories and making some new ones.

The tomatoes are getting big. The beans are blooming. The cucumber plants have baby pickles. And all of this growth and change and ripening gives me hope. This moment shall pass and good things, good times, family times lie ahead, if I am just patient and continue to nurture what is growing right now.

I can't take my eyes off my garden, even when tears blur the image and my heart longs for my children. The tomatoes are getting big, the beans are blooming, baby pickles grow on the cucumber plants and someday soon my sons and I will hold each other close. Someday soon.

The tomatoes are growing big....


Frances Mackay said...

Aaah, now I understand, Dawn. The empty nest syndrome! Take heart, your gardening won't go unappreciated. My son has his own home now and is becoming a garden junky. He never noticed my gardens. Like you -all over the country. A friend of mine has just written a poem about her family (gardens that she has left along the way.) Keep writing - you are good. I certainly related to this.

Ruth D~ said...

There is this thing, this attachment, we have for our children, and when there is too much distance between mother and child, no matter what age, there is longing.

Maybe your son looks at a garden somewhere near his home and says, "This reminds me of my mother . . ."

My empty nest is coming soon . . . I feel it already. I hear you, Dawn. I feel your pain. Life is good, though. And emotions of all kinds need to be felt. And embraced, and shared.

Your herbs look so healthy! I can smell the distinct smell of each from the picture.

Anonymous said...

Treasure your empty nest. Shortly after my son left for college, my dad died and I had to assume responsibility for my mom. Though my empty nest experience was brief, it was a unique opportunity to spend more time with my hubby.