Heather had been weeding the garden that day. And there, among the dirt and remains of unwanted visitors, were the little pinpricks of color, just starting to bloom. Yellow. White. Pink. Red.
We hadn’t planted roses.
But once upon a time, Heather’s grandmother had.
I’ve written about Grandma Val. She was one of Longmont’s “English ladies,” a proud daughter of Britain who crossed the ocean with an Air Force husband, a woman in love with dancing and tea and news of the royals.
And like so many women of England, Val loved her flowers.
Her garden was always a place of peace and beauty, a touch of color among the chaos of a large family. It was a welcome, a respite, a lift to the soul.
It, even more than the house, was home.
So when Heather and I moved into her old place a couple of months ago, we knew the garden would be a priority. Not an easy one – there would be a number of weeds to clear, a lot of ground to “awake” — but one we figured would be worthwhile.
We hadn’t expected to find buried – or rather, blooming – treasure, just waiting for us.
Val’s been gone for a little more than three years now. But the miniature roses are almost like a gentle touch from her, a soft smile reminding us of the legacy she left behind.
It’s funny how memories do that, isn’t it?
You can be living your life with all the normal aches, stresses and grumbles – a trio that kind of sounds like a personal injury law firm – and than all of a sudden, you fall into the gentlest ambush in the world. One that can almost bring tears to your eyes.
An old photograph.
A child’s smile that reflects the mother’s.
A scent in the kitchen, a sight in the garden …. all of them lie in wait for the unwary, guerillas of the heart.
And I wouldn’t do without them.
There’s a lot of work left to do. And I’m sure our backs will be regretting a lot of it before we’re done. But not our minds. Not our hearts. Not ever.
Not since the moment that memory rose.