Today is my dad’s birthday. Fifteen-and-a-half years ago–or something like that; I can never remember the exact year–he left the corporal form that he’d inhabited during the lifetime when I knew him.
I still feel him around with a presence close to me sometimes. He visits my older sister in dreams, sharing silent smiles and gestures of warmth and caring like he did during our physical lives together. He was a man who spoke seldom and often hesitantly, but his laughter shook this earth and opened the hearts of all who heard him.
My father gave gardening to me, my brother, and my sister. My sister and I, especially, took gardening into the essence of our lives. We each garden with our own style; neither style matches our dad’s. But we each garden in a way that is expressive of our experience of living and that fulfills our love of this earth–and, truly, that’s the way our dad approached gardening, too–that, and with an artist’s eye for beauty.
Every moment I walk through my garden, or tend a plant, or visit a nursery, I think of my dad. It’s like he’s with me always, which I’m sure, he is.