Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mom and John and the Six Tree Woods




























The Six-Tree Wildflower Garden is almost done. My friend, Jan, has worked her heart out on it. I have a black thumb but she can work miracles with fruits and flowers and vegetables.

I've called it the Six Tree Woods ever since I moved here in 1991. There really may be more trees than six. I've never actually counted them. They border the extra lot behind the garage where no one ever goes except the lawn guys when they mow. Weeds grow up in a tangle between the trees. I've always thought it was pretty in its own neglected, wild way.

After Mom and John died and I got their ashes back, I hadn't a clue what to do with them. Neither of them had any particular place in their heart that was special to them. Neither of them ever said they wanted their ashes spread at sea or from the top of a mountain. We were always transient people so there was no "old home place".

In fact, though it was certainly never meant to be so when we moved here, this house is the closest to an old home place as we've ever had. All three of us lived here longer than any other place we ever lived.

So, what I finally decided was that I would plant wildflowers in the Six Tree Woods and when the flowers were blooming, I'd spread their ashes out there. I liked the idea that they would always be here with me. (My friend, Tina, has promised me she'd sneak out at night and  put me out there too when the time came even if strangers own the house by then.)

I think I wrote once before that Mom and John were over at Jan's for quite a long time. I just didn't think I could face seeing two boxes with all that were left of my mother and son. I went to see a psychic in Arizona. I had not told her any of this. At the very last, she said, "you need to bring your son home. Your flowers will not be beautiful unless you bring him home. You must accept what happened so you can begin to heal."

As soon as I got home, I had Jan bring the boxes to me. They are on a shelf on John's bookcase now, waiting for the flowers to bloom.

I bought tons of wildflower seeds and a lot of self-naturalizing lilly bulbs and two fairly large rhododendrons. My idea of gardening was to rake the worst of the underbrush out, plant the lillies and throw the seeds around. Done deal.

Jan had other ideas. She went out and pulled and cut the weeds. She removed every single blade of grass. She spaced the lilly bulbs just so. She planted the seeds. She put a Rhododendron at either end like anchor plants.

Lisa is coming for a family wedding on June 10. She wants to be part of spreading the ashes so we will do it then whether the seeds are up or not (I'm pretty sure this is illegal but I'm going to do it anyway....don't tell anyone, okay?)

In the meantime, Jan and I bought more plants that are already blooming so there would be flowers when Lisa is here.

I visualize it in my mind sometimes, when there are coneflowers and poppies and daisies and lillies waving in the breeze under the trees. Purple and yellow and red and orange and pink. I'm not very sentimental about death. I don't believe the soul of a person sticks around with their body or their ashes but still.....I think Mom and John would like it if they knew.