Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter in the Garden. . .



Easter and gardens, and I'm very aware that by next year, I won't have a garden of my own for that Bunny to scatter eggs in for my grandchildren to find. But for several years now my sister has been hosting an Easter brunch in her beautiful big heritage home, taking over the tradition my parents established. There will be at least seven under-8s there this morning in a three-generation crowd, and chocolate and sugar enough to ensure at least one meltdown that ends in tears. 

I might shed a quiet one or two in a corner myself, thinking of my mom, who left us, Easter Sunday, three years ago. But mostly, I think I'll be content to have family around and recognize that other traditions form in the vacuum created by letting go of places, homes, people, rituals. . . 

And if I say good-bye to having my own garden, well, there are many others to wander through and enjoy without having to wield a trowel. Yesterday, I took these photos in Vancouver's Van Dusen Gardens as the "homework" for an "iphoneography" course I'm taking there. My mom loved this place, and contributed many plants from her garden to its annual fundraising, and brought plants she'd purchased at that sale to plant in my own borders. Wandering its     paths with my iPhone's lens yesterday was a pleasant way to begin reconciling myself to passing my garden's care to others, to finding and creating other continuities for myself.

After all, isn't Easter all about renewal after loss?

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it! And Happy Spring Renewal to the rest of you in my hemisphere ... For those of you those categories exclude, I wish you flowers and sunshine!

26 comments:

  1. This looks lovely. It is a bit wild here today - hail storm - but I will still brave the elements. The thing about gardens...I only have a tiny patio area and that is big enough. I suspect I would enjoy upkeep of a bigger area less than I imagine. But I do love other people's gardens and especially public gardens. One day I hope to do the Hampton Court Flower Show so I can enjoy the gorgeousness without any of the angst. Have a good whack of chocolate and some sunshine out West.

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    1. I've enjoyed having my big garden, but it's true I'm ready for a smaller one, now. Unfortunately, there's little chance of anything other than a small balcony for my next home, but at least there are many nearby to visit and I can garden with my camera. Is Hampton Court Flower Show bigger again than the Chelsea Show? I'd happily wander either, except those crowds!

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  2. Easter is all about renewal after loss - what a beautiful post with beautiful photos. I cannot believe it's been 3 years since you lost your mum. I am confident she will be at your party today - enjoying all of the family she helped to create. (And perhaps will wryly wink from her spiritual plane when one of those kiddies eventually melts down. Hey, there are some benefits to being there in spirit only :-))

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    1. I do think she must have been with us somehow, and she definitely would have had a chuckle at some of the antics. ;-)

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  3. I hope you had a wonderful time.

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  4. I wish we had siblings to help us carry on or create new traditions. Two onlies (husband and I) and I with no cousins means a very small family, but we do carry on. Pouring rain today so it looks like the garden will be wild before we can get to it. I hope there was lots of chocolate and few tears...
    Lynn

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    1. I am lucky in having so many siblings, it's very true. We didn't spend time with them at Easter and Christmas when our kids were growing up (too much to do with our own and too far to travel), so it's lovely to catch up now and our own kids, with their smaller families, like to step temporarily into the chaos of a big clan. Good luck taming your garden -- I've been away from mine for a week of mostly spring rain as well -- scary thought!

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  5. A Blessed Easter to you! Yes, indeed, Spring IS a season of renewal and growth! Beautiful photos and beautiful sentiments. Thank you for sharing!
    Charlene H

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  6. Beautiful gardens,beautiful post,beautiful and sad memories.....
    A Blessed Easter Frances, once again!
    Dottoressa

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    1. I hope yours was Blessed as well, Dottoressa

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  7. For our family, Easter marked the end of the deprivation of Lent, and was pretty much about the sugar and chocolate you mention, but also sweet rolls and cakes. I've long wondered whether this deprivation/binge cycle locked in my unrepentant sweet tooth.

    I too last my mother at Easter, which also coincides on many years with my father's birthday; what a tender time it is, when celebration is mixed with memory and mourning.

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    1. Yep, Lent was taken seriously when I was growing up as well, and those Hot Cross buns my dad made on Friday got the sugar taste buds revved up for the chocolate highs of Easter Sunday. Even then, church always came before the Easter egg hunt, and I'd say the new dresses, hats, and polished shoes are as strong a part of my Easter memories as the sweets. Interesting idea about the deprivation/binge -- it was definitely a pattern!
      I would imagine the "tender time" as you evocatively put it, is made even more so where you are by the vagaries of the weather, which is often beginning to break up and offer some hope at Easter (although just as often, I guess, it's slamming the lid shut again for another few weeks).

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  8. Beautiful photos of Van Dusen! I used to be a member but I haven't visited for years. Our sermon yesterday was about resurrection being possibly a small new growth in a crack in our lives. I feel the loss of family and the absence of children at a time that used to mean egg hunts, Bunnykins and happy times. I hope that you find some new gardens to visit and that something beautiful and unexpected
    appears in the cracks.

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    1. Thanks, Mme. These happy memories are often accompanied by a sense of loss, aren't they! And I can see now how quickly this passage of my grandchildren through the Easter egg years will pass, although their parents don't believe that yet. . .

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  9. Francis, it looks some great new Easter traditions are replacing the old- different can have its pluses- maybe less work for you and more time to enjoy all those beautiful grandkids, for one. I am on my own this Easter- no egg hunts here- time marches on and life changes- the quiet years help me appreciate the ones filled with little Easter egg hunters.

    I too , like you and Duchess, lost my mother and mother-in-law on Easter Sundays years apart. I think of them fondly at Easter with a mixture of sadness, nostalgia and gratitude for all that they gave me. I so wish my parents could have met all their wonderful great grandchildren.

    Easter is a time of renewal for sure and your life is resplendent with great changes. I am so glad that you are taking the time to explore each part of these changes that are becoming a part of the fabric of your life. Enjoy every minute!

    Happy Easter from, Jennifer

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    1. You must have some very full Easters with your large clan -- smart to appreciate the quiet ones as well, in those years.
      What a coincidence that you lost two mothers on Easter Sunday, and both Duchesse and I lost ours on an Easter as well. It's a good day for remembering. . . as for wishing our parents could have met their great-grands, yes, indeed, but the best we can do now I guess is introduce the youngsters to the memories of our elders.

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  10. It sounds like all the ingredients were available for a happy Easter for the children. For you, it sounds like the day was bittersweet, and how could it have been otherwise? It's good to acknowledge the love and the loss that are so closely bound and close to the surface for us at these big family times.
    It has been years since I was last at the Van Dusen Gardens. Somehow I believe that you will need some little bit of garden to satisfy that part of your creativity. I will watch with interest to see what you come up with.

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    1. It's true, H. It was a day full of ALL the emotions!
      I feel the same way about the gardening bit and once we see what we've got, next home-wise, I'll start plotting (ha!). Some very cool systems available for vertical gardening these days as well. . .

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  11. Hi Frances, I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter together. I miss doing Easter Egg hunts with the children. Although my daughters fiancé did one for her in their new home that has a lovely garden. She looked out, when she woke up, to see him dashing in from the garden and wondered what had happened!!! :)
    Spring Renewal is a perfect sentiment although flowers and sunshine are good too! Both will bring a smile to my face and joy to my heart :) thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.
    I'd just like to add how much I enjoyed the photographs of your daughter and granddaughter in your previous post. Your daughters golden goose high tops are gorgeous ...just perfect on her! What a great mum you are!
    Take care, I hope things are going going smoothly and stress free in other aspects of your life. It's always good to hear from you ....whatever you're discussing.
    Rosie

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    1. Thanks, Rosie. We did have a very good Easter. So cute about your daughter's fiancé.
      Kind of you to visit my daughter's blog and I'll pass your comment along to her -- she does love those shoes!
      I can't say things are going stress-free, but who could ever say that for a move -- thanks for the encouragement! ;-)

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  12. Beautiful gardens. They too speak of renewal. "Why do you seek the living among the dead?". That line, from the Easter reading has played in my mind in many ways. Whatever one's religion, or lack thereof, that line seems to apply to so much that we humans do, seeking the past, reliving the past, missing that which is lost rather than looking for what is new. I have no answers. But I love your flower photos.

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    1. I haven't been to church at Easter (or other Sundays, for that matter) for too long, but yes, that is one of those really resonant lines, isn't it?
      And often answers are overrated. . . questions. questions are good!

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  13. Part of the cycle of life, family members taking over and adapting family rituals, celebrations, and feasts. My darling dad died 12 years ago this September and I still miss him every day. It takes a while to accommodate the grief. Wishing you well X

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    1. I know what you mean -- my dad's been gone 16 this summer, and he's still missed, although in a way that enriches now, I'd say, rather than causes pain. . . Weren't we lucky to have parents worth mourning?

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