I am especially thinking of my dad this fall. He was an avid gardener and once cooler weather began to arrive he taught me to be meticulous about getting plants cut back and prepared for winter.
Yesterday I worked with friends in our community garden to cut back plants, move manure from a local horse farm to compost our garden waste, and generally admire the changing colors.
When I called Dad in the memory care unit this morning, I shared with him a description of what I had done in the garden and thanked him for all he had taught me about gardening. “That’s nice,” he said.
My sisters and I are working to share strong images of his good life with him as he nears the end of his days. At 87 years he is frail and failing. None of us knows when he will die anymore than we can predict when the first frost will come.
What we do know, though, is that this difficult post stroke phase of his life will end. And like all good gardeners everywhere we know that there is a next, beautiful phase to his life . . . for nature teaches us that life continually transforms itself.