The robins in the garden

Jane Reddington

Sounder Staff

Tuesday, May 17 2016

I woke up late this morning - staying in bed until 10:00 a.m. Mondays have become the quietest day of the week for this writer. With my partner setting off for Comox hours ago, and my children riding their bikes to school it is rare to have the house to myself in the morning and for it to be quiet.

I love sleeping in and I love waiting to get dressed when there’s no need. I love being in my home and getting some tea ready and going out to the garden in my pink robe with white polka dots and turning the tap on for the outside hose.

I stood in the garden this morning, taking time to meet the new flowers that have just started to blossom and welcoming them back. The new irises and peonies, the purple geranium, the pink dianthus which has formed a clump, the lupins and the delphinium, not to mention the orange and peach climbing Joseph’s Coat rose that has intertwined with the white Montana clematis.

My garden is a place of wonder for me. It takes me back in time to my grandparents rose garden. I have about 80 - 100 roses now, I’m guessing they only ever had about 30 or 40. But when I’m in the garden on a windy, sunny day like today, it’s like my grandparents are here with me, greeting the flowers and nourishing them.

My grandparents did the same for me. In my house on this quiet morning, I can feel them, urging me along, celebrating my achievements and helping me rise to be all they saw in me.

I lost my grandfather, Alec, the year after my daughter was born in 2008 and my grandmother, Faith, in 2000. Part of me has never gotten over these losses. When we celebrate special holidays, it is them that I think of. My grandfather ready with a cold bottle of champagne in the fridge, a special cake prepared at the store and decorated with flowers from the garden. It is these memories that bring tears to my eyes because they loved me unconditionally. 

My grandmother always said the greatest compliment you can pay someone is to fall asleep in their company, because you feel safe. I wish I could visit their house and lie on my grandmother’s bed again in the afternoon, while she read the Times newspaper from England and I drifted off.

Although I lost them, I did get them back in a small way, with my son and my daughter who is named Lucy Faith for her great-grandmother. I know they would be so proud of this little modest house we have, of the garden we have tended and loved, of my life with my husband and most of all of my health. They would love that I work for this newspaper and I know they are here on this quiet day urging me to take the time to be thankful and grateful for this island and the life we have made here. 

It doesn’t make me miss them any less, sometimes it make me miss them more. So take time today with the ones you love so dearly and be in the moment. Kiss, hug, laugh, cuddle, make time for watching the robins in the garden, the wind lifting the leaves and marvel at this wonderful life we all share. I am humbled by this great earth.