This afternoon I was sitting in my rocker in the solarium gazing out at the pond behind my new garden and listening to the musical notes of the water splashing from the fountain. I had been reading Lisa Miller’s Heaven in preparation for a seminar in July on Intercourse in the Afterlife. It wasn’t heavy reading, but I needed a break and so, I gazed. It was one of those daydream moments.
In my daydream moments I am not deliberately thinking about anything. Just staring out a window or at the sky or the sunset or simply the landscape. And what I find so amazing about daydream moments is what eventually does come into my mind. Sometimes I believe that this is how God speaks to me. Sometimes not.
Today I started thinking about my aunt who will turn 90 in November which then led me to think about her mother, my maternal grandmother. Grandma died just after her 76th birthday in 1963 and I realized that all I ever remember about her was that she worked in the house. Her children were grown and out of the house in about 1940 and for my entire time of 24 years with her she was what we call an empty-nester. Grandpa went to work, but grandma just worked in the house.
I don’t remember her as being warm or welcoming, but neither was she distant or foreboding. She was just, well, there. I never recall her knitting, sewing, or crocheting. She wasn’t an artist who either painted or made fabulous crafts. I never saw her sit down and read a book, listen to the radio, or watch a television show. It was always cleaning or doing the dishes or straightening up the house or cooking. For 43 years she did this. And I have no daydream moments or her that sparked my imagination or inspired me or did anything for me.
I do remember that she liked to garden and had the greenest thumb I’ve ever encountered. Her gardens were not manicured like an English tea garden, but each spring, summer, and fall they were filled with flowering plants of every imaginable kind. She would plant and weed and water day after day. And for all the flowers she had in her gardens she rarely ever brought any of them into the house and into a vase. But, oh, were they magnificent in their natural beds.
Not having such a talent myself (except that I can grow things in pots that thrive on neglect) I never considered my grandmother’s skills in the garden as a hobby or even a gift. Until I planted my own garden a week or so ago. And as I gazed over my garden, listening to the fountain, my daydream moment brought me to appreciate and recall those memories of my grandmother. She was an accomplished gardener. I wish she were here today to help me keep my tender green babies thriving to their full bloom of adulthood.
Thanks, God, for a daydream moment that, however late, helped me see my grandmother in a different light and with an enormous talent for tending to God’s green earth.