Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Girl Garden

On our farm my daughter and I have a special garden – the “Girl Garden”. My husband and son also have a “Man Garden”. This week, as summer winds down, the girl garden has gone through some transformation. This was our first year tending this palette, and the artist in me had to make some adjustments: adding delphiniums and peonies, moving lilies, and adjusting perennials so they are just in the right spot. We finally finished a glass bottle retaining wall we’ve been working on all season. We also created a nice wall around our tea garden in an effort to keep our mint crop under control.
As I was gathering the last of the bricks from the front of our house, I passed an angel statue seated on a wall on the side of our house. This statue is the one I received as a condolence when I lost a baby girl at birth – Gabrielle. Gabby was Grace’s baby sister. She was the sister that Grace had eagerly awaited the arrival of when she was three years old, and unable to understand why we did not come home with her. This was Grace’s introduction to mortality. Her death became one of the foundational pieces of Grace’s life story and one of her deepest sorrows. I knew in the moment I passed the statue that this garden was also for Gabrielle and I hoped a source of healing for Grace and me.
I brought the angel into our garden and she changed the energy of it all – it was as if she brought the garden to life. I felt Gabby’s presence there. I said to myself, “Now it is our girl garden, with all three of us girls.” Now it felt right.
Invigorated with a sense of new life, even as the autumn approached, I found myself inspired. I remembered a statue of a heart goddess given to me by a dear friend. She belongs at the entrance, I thought. Then I remembered a statue of Mother Mary that Grace’s great grandmother had given her. Yes! She will stand in the west, in the tea garden. I realized about then the power of this girl garden. It was becoming more than I had imagined. It was not just a garden for Grace and I and now Gabrielle, but one that honored the divine feminine in life. It was a garden to honor Gaia. It was becoming a Girl-Goddess garden.
I have searched for ways to heal the part of my female line that feels small and weak. I have worked hard to overcome the lingering effects of an abusive past. I have grown into a woman who understands the value of her femininity and hopes it’s not too late for her daughter to value hers. I have longed for a way to honor the feminine in myself that is, like the Goddess, strong and creative and beautiful. I have wished for something solid to share with my daughter to honor womanhood. We have found a little piece of this through our creation and enjoyment of our Girl-Goddess Garden.