Aug 27, 2017

Memories and Old Pink Shirts

When I work in my yard, I wear his old pink button down shirt--so faded and worn it is almost transparent. Stained with sweat and that southern red clay, it's actually pretty darned grungy.
But I'll wear it until it's worn through and still then, I'll tuck it away in my bottom dresser drawer and in all honesty, probably still wear it once in a while.
I work and think of him. Of his amazing skill as a gardener. Of his knack for knowing what plants look best together, when to trim them, of knowing when a plant has served its purpose and it is time to replace it with something new.  I wish I had that gift.  While I don't have his natural talent, I do have the wealth of knowledge he has passed on to me and I feel so lucky for that--but I still always wish he was here to guide me.

I think of him sitting up on the hill in the early morning with a cup of coffee, gently misting the plants with water for hours.  Enjoying the bird song, the quiet and the act of caring for the land.
I feel like when I am out tending to my little piece of earth and I'm doing my best to care for it--to make it beautiful--I honor him and all he has taught me.
On Saturday mornings after I've trimmed and pruned and weeded and planted and I sit down with a cup of coffee--hose in hand and gently mist these beautiful, flowering, fruit giving, living things, wearing this faded pink shirt, I remember my dad and the sting of loss even after all these years is soothed by these gentle memories.