A brief snapshot of my mother gardening on a Saturday morning
|Saturday morning comes early and bright, typical of the east coast. The brilliant sun burns through the colours of the rainbow and settles on luminous yellow. The birds sing a raucous cacophony, insisting that we greet the day. I rub my eyes and sigh from the effort of sleeping.
Summer Saturdays are a precious commodity, irreplaceable treasures. I throw the thin sheet aside and stretch my way to the lounge. The French doors are swung open and the humid, salty sea air has filled the house. Living so close to the ocean, I sometimes take it for granted, forget to stand in awe at its magnificence from time to time. Today is one of those days. Instead of noticing the thick sea air or the deafening sound of high tide, I see only my mother in the garden.
The beautifully green grass slopes gently away from the veranda. I feel like royalty looking down on a vast kingdom. The picturesque garden is by no means large or palatial, but it is vibrant and over-flowing. The plants seem to grow at unnatural speeds and devour any open space. At every opportunity, my mother fights the billowing plants into submission, chopping and pruning them to an inch of their lives, only to repeat a week later.
She is not dismayed by this dance that she does with her garden though, it is a simple two step; two steps this way and two steps back. They, my mother and her garden, dance this sequence with astounding grace and elegance. As I watch her from the veranda, she is in the throws of a grand finale, snipping a last leaf, planting a final sapling, admiring.
She turns her back on her masterpiece and walks the up slope to the veranda, "Morning, Kiki, did you see my new petunias?"
"They're amazing, mom. How long have you been awake?"
"A few hours... the garden was calling me."