The other day my husband and I were in the garden contemplating where to plant a tree and a few other plants. He brought up a good point that we won’t be living in our current home forever, so if this is our temporary home what will happen to what we plant? My initial reaction, albeit against my feelings about nature, was to say that we could dig up the plants and take them with us wherever we go. I have always aligned my gardening-self with the Greek proverb: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” With the thought that I may plant a small tree today and push my grandchildren in a tree swing upon its highest branch decades later. So where did this gut reaction to uproot everything and take it with me come from? This had me thinking all week about this earth as our temporary home.
A few days later, we received word that my husband’s Nana had passed away at the age of 91. A strong-willed woman with a peaceful passing at home. A blessing we could all wish to have one day. A passing is always a time for me to reflect. I am a Christian and naturally I believe that I will have a home after my home on earth expires. No matter what you believe, this earth is a temporary home for all of us give or take a few years. But this concept is difficult to share with others, especially those who are grieving. I have been witness to much grief in my life and have lost many who are close to me. What I find most often with those who are grieving is that they need a reason as to why they are still here. This is my best attempt at a message to anyone who is mourning:
You are still here. Here to bear witness to life’s beauty and mystery for all the days after your loved one’s passing and until your own. You can find them in the wink of an eye of a child they never had the chance to meet; in the harmony of a song you found the courage to learn to play; in the unexpected flower on a plant that’s never bloomed; in the clouds you fly amongst on an airplane; in the hand you use to connect the here and now to the once was. And you can know that when you are no longer here, these are places I will find you.
We planted that tree. I am content with committing to the earth a flowerless plant to which I may never see the color of its blooms with my own eyes. I am humbled by the challenge to keep only happiness and love rooted deeply in my heart. I can also accept that not all that is planted, no matter how much attention it is given, will survive. We will all leave our temporary home in our own way, on our own time.