How does your garden grow?

 {Grandma with her prized geraniums}

The sun is shining, the trees are holding their breath in the stillness, and somewhere in the distance I can hear the deep hum of a lawnmower.  It's summer in Canada.  

It's always special to spend time in my childhood home, but this summer has been particularly meaningful.  Life has been in extreme flux recently, and coming home has felt so healing.  I love sitting in my old bedroom, looking at my bookshelves and dollhouse, and feeling that sense of belonging. Time might move forward at a harried pace, but some things never change.  

It's so comforting. 

I've also been thinking a lot about my family.  I miss my Dad, who died 6.5 years ago, more than anyone can ever imagine.  People say time heals, but they're wrong.  Time does heal the tragedy of loss, but the missing never, ever goes away

But... I've also been surprised to find that I'm missing my Grandma more and more.  She died 20 years ago exactly.  It may sound strange, but I'm actually missing her more as I grow older.  I loved her as a child, but it's only now, as an adult, that I'm beginning to understand who she actually was.  And, to my surprise, I think I'm becoming very much like her, in some respects. 

As I remember, she was stubborn, passionate, a lover of books and reading, and she enjoyed the beauty of everyday things (postage stamps, birds, sunsets, and things that were made well). 

One thing she was famous for was her garden.  We cousins loved to play in Grandma and Grandpa's large yard, under the condition that our running around didn't tear up the grass, and we didn't kick our balls into any of her precious flower beds.  I think we loved the gorgeous flowers as much as she did, and were happy to follow the rules. 

Her most prized flowers were her coral coloured geraniums.  She called them "scheena Helena," which means "beautiful Helen," but none of us are sure why they had that name! (You can see her sitting with one of the coral plants in the photo above.) She wintered the cuttings inside when the snow flew, and would plant them outside again every spring.  After she died my uncle David kept the plants going in the same way.  

Now, 20 years later, he finally managed to propagate enough plants to give one starter to each of my 7 aunts and uncles. I so wish I could take a plant overseas with me, so I could have a piece of my grandma's legacy growing in my garden!

{The tradition continues}

Speaking of plants and legacies...  Here is the spruce tree I planted in our back yard when I was in Kindergarten. It's now 25 years old, and taller than our house!

And a little post script, just because Grandma and I both love beautiful things....