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What the dead feel

It has been unseasonably warm in my little corner of the world. Which is nice for me. Hate the cold. Hate wearing so many layers of clothing I need a berth of about 50 feet just to turn around. Hate how much more difficult the ordinary things become just because it’s cold. So a November of 60 to 75 degrees suits me well. Although today, we’ve finally gone more seasonal with temps about 40 and the occasional snow shower.

But my begonias are showing no sign of wanting to “shuffle off their mortal coil.” Flowers bright, leaves green, I haven’t the heart to yank them out and prepare the boxes for next year. Hardy little beggars, I’m content to leave them “victorious, happy and glorious,” their steadfastness a defiant claim of “It ain’t winter until we SAY it’s winter!” I doff my chapeau to them.

However, I took advantage of the warmer weather to put the memorial garden to bed. I collected the more fragile ceramic houses, some earthenware pots and vases, and a plaster cast lion and lamb we kept under the bench. One of the feral cats in the neighbourhood used to come and cuddle up to the lion in the evening. I can only imagine what he thought the first time he licked his fellow feline – “Dude! How old do you have to be before your fur hardens like that??” But the tiles will stay where they are, and the wind chimes and a few other decorations.

It’s a melancholy thing closing down a garden, but the sadness was tempered by the beauty all around me. The trees in our neighbours’ yards enclosed my little grotto in walls of gold and scarlet, and the sun lit up every tree as if from the inside. The sky overhead a peaceful expanse of gentle blue. The scent of wood smoke in the air. The generosity of it, like a warm embrace.

And I thought of my friend, Jill, to whom I dedicated the garden. I put away my rake and my gloves, and reluctantly walked over to the back door where I paused for one last look.

“Jill,” I whispered, “do you see this? The beauty? Are you aware the garden is for you? What do you feel where you are?”

I always hear laughter in her voice these days.

“Oh darling,” she replied. “I feel the love! I can feel all the love!”

I smiled.

Of course. Love.

The eternal evergreen.

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4 Comments

  1. Joannie
    Posted November 19, 2016 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    How very beautiful, Penny-Anne. Your writing made me cry…in a good way. I love reading your blog. Though as a young woman I loved the winter, I’ve come to a place where I love it less and less as I become an old woman. The thought of putting on my boots horrifies me! I think I’ll be just like the Great Bear and hibernate. :)

    • Penny-Anne
      Posted November 19, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

      Ah hibernation! A lovely thought, that. Sometimes it takes everything I’ve got not to retreat under the blankets and stay there for the next six months! Thanks for stopping by, Joannie, and for your kind words. <3

  2. Valerie Hess
    Posted November 20, 2016 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Blessings on your garden and your memories, Penny-Anne.

    • Penny-Anne
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      What a lovely thing to say! Thanks, Valerie!

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