During a really hard time in my life, while living in this wonderful house with its beautiful yard, I had a repetitive dream that deeply disturbed me.  Upon waking, I felt wounded, my heart and the pit of my stomach in pain.

In this dream, my beautiful yard was gouged, mangled, destroyed in various ways:  big, loud, dirty construction equipment digging deep, random holes; fences destroyed here and there to the extent that property lines were obscured; squishy, stinky mud pools lurked where vegetation had been scraped away, trees uprooted…

Last night I had a dream.  About my yard.  In this dream, I was awakened early in the morning after a night during which I thought I had heard subtle noises in my back yard.  I walked out my back door to find everything transformed.

A babbling brook wound its way down my side yard, to join another threading its way through the back.  Fresh flowers and shapely shrubs were either in their newly planted homes or being readied for them.  I could see drainage systems being put in place underground so that in times of heavy rain, my home would not be flooded by brooks become raging rivers.  Although the work was not yet complete, there were no signs of the magnanimous workers or their equipment.

My home, my yard in that first dream years ago represented my heart, which at the time was undergoing a slow, brutal breaking.

This morning, I feel not only gratitude that my heart ultimately healed from those years, but a new excitement about the time ahead of me in my new home.  My home on wheels.  My home that will be able to bring me to many babbling brooks, forests full of stately trees, and adventures and challenges that will keep my heart full.  I am blessed.

(The photo for this post is of a neighbor’s beautiful fish pond.  Thank you Mary!)

My Emerald Forest

Dawny and I will really miss this beautiful backyard.  When I look out of the kitchen window, the vibrant greens fairly shout at me in their intensity, their glory.  And the air… so clean, so fresh, and always filled with birdsong.

Yes, we will really miss this backyard.  Even though this house, our home, has sheltered us for all of these years and provided such handy amenities as electricity, water, food… it is the backyard that we will miss the most (sorry, house!).  For our beautiful yard has provided nutrition for the spirit when down in the dumps, peace for the heart when caught up in life’s troubles, and sheer joy and freedom for the mind and body (game of tennis, Dawny?).

Thank you, my Emerald City, my beautiful forest, home to:

  • the white pine, planted when I was five months pregnant with our son, and that now stands tall and straight and justifiably proud, as does he;
  • our organic garden which for years fed us healthy fare–and provided the best place in the neighborhood for our son and his friends to make mud pies, mud cities, to carve out lakes and rivers;
  • the magnificent tree we anchored the zip line to and sent children sailing through the air, careening towards another tree, now succumbed to high winds and old age;
  • solid turf where Buster–the best dog in the world–taught Dawny–the greatest dog in the world–to play tennis-ball fetch when she came to us frightened and maladjusted from a young life spent in a kill-shelter;
  • the grassy ledge where numerous beloved pets have been laid to rest (along with a client’s cat that had nowhere else to go).

Yes, our backyard has been an oasis, a tiny little nature preserve, a reverent place for quiet comfort, raucous joy, and unbridled freedom.  Thank you, my tall, proud Emerald Forest.  You are a precious jewel that has sheltered our family with steadfast beauty and grace.

Thank you, and fare well!

Today My Son


Today my son left the home in which he was born.  Literally.  The room where he let out his first cry, peered at the world through virgin eye, now echoes barren space.

I remember walking him (and the dogs, of course!) through the neighborhood for some fresh air, and a neighbor asked me about my new baby, my “son.”  That word, “son!”  My heart swelled with pride.  I did indeed have a son, a beautiful, perfect, miraculous son.

Today my son spread his wings and took flight.  Literally.  He should be somewhere over the Shenandoah Mountains about now.  I hope he has a window seat and can enjoy their sight, like a sloppy giant’s big green, rumpled blanket… left out for his mother to pick up, no doubt!

Today it is as if all of the plans and activities of these past few months–decisions, preparations, cleaning, repairing, selling–have crossed a fault-line in the earth.  A huge gap in the mountains’ pass.  Between then… and now.  Between looking back… and moving forward.  Our current doggie, Dawny, and I will be harboring within these now-clean walls–devoid of family pictures and childhood artwork–for a little while longer before we also set forth, to begin our new adventure.

And my son?  Our son!  He has been blessed with strong, loving roots that will nurture him wherever he ventures.  May his path be sprinkled with seeds of joy, his heart showered with great love, and his mind grow fertile with creative inspiration.

Love, Mom