I often go back to the old flooded house. Just to ponder. I like to be in the place I raised my children. I like to feel the memories of their childhood. I enjoy looking at the old trees, and remember how my son nailed old boards onto the trunk as steps, just like the ld tree at the Casper Cabin. I see my two youngest in the back “woods” , where they played endlessly in their secret fairy garden. I see the tire tire swing, the laughter, the dogs (who have all since passed) and the countless moments of family memories. A few days ago, I took my little red bucket and my favorite bulb-digging spade, and I visited my old house.
Whenever I go bulbing, I dont have a specific plan. I usually just just look out for the clump of bulbs that had been missed. This dig was different. The bulb clumps had already been dug up and moved 2 years ago.. I was looking for the remnants…..the bits and pieces of broken bulbs that refused to let go. The broken bulbs that stayed behind in the mucky earth after the flood. I magine these old bulbs miss their bulb families, and I was there to dig.
One lonely bulb here, another lonely bulb there…..
For some reason, it hurts my heart to leave any flower bulb behind. It’s not like I don’t have a garden full of heirloom bulbs…..but this is different. I remember salvaging each of these areas of bulbs. I remember stopping on the side of the road with my girls, digging with our hands through bulldozed rubble. I remember my youngest on the lookout as we dodged a rattle snake while digging Crinum. I remember so many good garden moments. It’s as if leaving a bulb behind is like leaving a cherished memory behind. I see life through imagery, and leaving part of my former garden behind creates a visible hole in my new garden.
I took my little red bucket, and one by one, I filled it up with broken, fragmented bits of bulbs….broken, marred and lonely.
Good things await in my new gardens, but somehow, these individual bulbs simply rrefused to let go. It’s painful to be broken and marred. Letting go and moving forward can be scary. It’s a lot of work to just let go, and let’s face it…..the muck of the miry clay be engulfing.
As I walked through the old gardens, I realized that there was a part of myself that also didn’t want to let go. I want to keep my children close with the memories of their childhood ever present. I want to relive every beautiful moment of reading children’s books, tea parties, Friday night football games, hunting broken china at the burned out cabin and enjoying cards after a family meal. I want those moments to last forever. I am the bulb afraid to let go…..even though good things wait for me on the other side of childhood.
I think it is hard to welcome new phases of life. “Seasons”, as some people call them, come and go, but new phases of life are different. You can never go back. It’s a different time and a different place. The children are grown.You can glance back, but things are different…..but not in a bad way. Each new phase has a whole new set of wonders and garden blooms.
I left that morning with my little red bucket full of the last remaining bulbs that I’m going to take from my old flooded house. I am not going back to dig. (Even as i write this,, i am seeing the Iris under the tree with a tire swing and am thinking “why did you just write that?????”) The few remaining bulbs will be reminders of our wonderful good moments. Each season will be filled with random Oxblood Lilies, Prarie White Rain Lilies, Oxalis, Crinum and Star of Bethlehem blooms…..evidence that there once was a family with three little kids, who grew up among those old gardens.
Yes, it is time to let go and embrace the new, beautiful gardens that are growing right before our eyes.
Happy Gardening, my friends!