I look at my gardens in despair. The seeds of fox-tail grass and tall Queen Ann’s Lace are ripe and are falling into the flower beds. The perennials that survived the severe summer drought have gone dormant, their dull wilted leaves lay against other plants and fallen branches from the locust tree. The Brown-eyed Susan’s are dried out; their black buds and crinkly leaves snarled with rampant white morning glories.
Looking at the scene my emotions move from my chest into my throat and I feel myself tearing up. This isn’t the first time I’ve looked at my yard with dismay. The enormity of the mess and the side-effects of medication leave me feeling despondent. But what can I do?
Sometimes I get overwhelmed by emotions. There isn’t a woman among us who hasn’t had the mental turmoil associated with hormones…though admitting to it is another thing. Or the man who hasn’t at one point in his life, turned his face away, hiding a flush of emotions.
There are times when our feelings escape our control, whether of love, sadness, fear, or anger. We are faced with situations where we can’t hide what is going through our hearts. We must figure out how to work through the challenges, adjusting to a new way.
I remember when I was ten an athletic young man in the neighborhood, who was helping my father unload a truck, had both of his legs crushed below the knee by a freak accident—the brake-lines of the semi-truck blew, pinning him.
I watched this strong young man after he came home from the hospital. I saw that when you are broken you depend on somebody else to lift you. His initial frustration and loss only lessened when he accepted his situation. He had a loving family to hold and hug him in his suffering as he healed. He had “buddies” that carried him up and from and through his limitations. He found humor as a way to be at peace with what he could not do.
Family and strong buddies are good. But what about those of us who are single, without family or supportive friends? Who do we turn to when there is no one to hold us, hug and console us, or lift us up? How do we find someone to manage a portion of our life that we cannot? I don’t know the answers yet. I’m trying to figure this out along the way.
I am touched by the beauty of love when I see a needy soul embraced in the circling arms of another. Whether in tears of joy or of sorrow, they are cradled and supported in their humanness.
I can imagine Mother Mary and Mary Magdalene embracing each other with joyful tears as the Christ’s miracle of feeding the thousands unfolded. I can also imagine them at the foot of the cross collapsing together in each others arms in anguish at the suffering of their beloved Jesus.
We share with the Holy and among ourselves a common thread of emotions. Our spouses, family and close friends help us to navigate and embrace our feelings more fully. Sometimes, as with what I am facing now, we turn to Our Lord to help us find someone that can assist us in our need.
For me, I need to find a gardener to help me get things back in order. Maybe after that I can return to my garden and again walk them in peace.