Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Green grass

The greens are in full swing

this morning

when the rain comes to settle in.

It has rained all nightlong and the grass

has gotten long enough to wade in.

I walk with the dogs through the long blades.


Waitng for the dampness to lift;

all the while knowing

I might as well get used to the

way the grass feels beneath my feet.

Week 29. Uncertainty

This past week my brother came to live with me. It seemed like the best thing for him, considering all the circumstances with his recently hospitalization and rehab. During this time I found myself with many conflicting feelings. I kept telling myself that in time things will get better. In time, things will change. I also kept thinking about this idea of uncertainty. I thought maybe if I could just let all the uncertainty wander in and out of my life maybe that would ease some of my frustration. I know that I will always expect things to get better, but could it be that accepting hard times, not resisting, could help to be more resilient.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I pushed the wheelchair

toward the hospital garden,

and as I stood behind him

I saw the stitches in the back of his head.

A train track of them.

Delineating the place where

The work was done.

I almost thought to touch it

but part of the scar seemed so raw.

Once in the greenhouse,

we stopped to admire the prickly aloe plants.

We talked about their healing qualities,

then he carefully plucked an appendage of the plant,

squeezed the thick liquid into his palm

and rubbed it into his large hands.

He placed the rest in his pocket.

I continued to push him,

out through the greenhouse doors

and into garden.

week 28. Healing

The other day my brother and I visited a beautiful greenhouse/garden in the rehab center. There were all sorts of amazing plants there. I noticed small plaques scattered about explaining some unique attributes of certain plants. The signs were designed to give hope and motivation to those challenged with building their bodies and minds back to a place where they could learn to be stronger and more independent. This made me think about the Aloe plant. There are thousands of remedies derived from the Aloe, not just treatments for superficial skin ailments but all sorts of remedies to cure internal issues as well. These days, I watch my brother slowly building himself back physically I know that he is also learning to heal inside as well. He is learning how to live with the knowledge that cancer is a daily reminder of our own mortality.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August field

The dusty landscape is still before me.

The August heat weighs heavy

and within the field of dry grass

there is a sprinkling of tiny flowers.

Tiny voices telling me

that tomorrow is another day

and if I just take care,

with swiftness and ease,

here is where I’ll remain.

week 27. Caretaking

This week’s entry has been one of the hardest to write thus far. My brother had emergency surgery a few days ago, a tumor was found in his brain. The surgery was a success, he’s well on his way to recovery but I was deeply affected by this turn of events. Yesterday I sat with him as he told me a bit about what he was going through. He said something to me that seemed to resonate, something along these lines: “Most of the time we spend so much energy thinking about the things we don’t have or the things we want, what if we spent that same time thinking about what god has blessed us with here and now”. I had to nod my head when he said this; I completely understood what he meant. I too find myself saddened by what I feel I want and can’t get. But seeing him there in the hospital bed, struggling to make sense of what had happened to him reminded me that I too need to try each day to accept my life and my own choices, trusting the reciprocal nature of how we care for others and others care for us in turn. Caretaking is one of the biggest lessons that plants can teach us. Just being there to assess the various needs, being attentive enough to observe and sensitive enough to know how to give back is what in needed to care for a garden. Isn’t that how we nurture those we care about anyway?