I’m a reluctant gardener.
Perhaps because I can only grow zinnias and marigolds. For real. All other seeds fail me. Perennials, except for a few, refuse to reappear in the spring.
But this year the gardening muse took over, and I planted zinnias galore.
I even dragged pots out of our shed and created a porch garden of zinnias and marigolds.
Never have blooms looked more beautiful.
Because a month ago, I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.
And the life that I sometimes grumped about and worried about and wondered about became the life I wanted to hold onto with every ounce of my being.
As surgery approached last week, an unexpected joy showered over me. The bold colors of my zinnias shouted, “Notice us!” And I did.
Pizza on a neighbor’s patio became the best I’ve ever tasted.
The riverwalk on our new trail in Hillsborough felt like a grand wilderness adventure.
I was scared and nervous, for sure, but this worrier took on a type of calm. Grace in its finest form.
I’m through with surgery. I need a few weeks to catch my breath. Then I’ll tell my cancer story.
Hope you’ll come along for the ride!
This morning, I was well enough to go into the garden and pick a bouquet of zinnias. Never has my garden been such a blessing.
I love you, zinnias!
Giveaway: Anthologist June Cotner is offering one reader a copy of her gorgeous new book, Garden Blessings: Poems, Prose, and Prayers Celebrating the Love of Gardening (Viva Editions, 2014). For a chance to win, simply enter a comment by August 15 saying you’d like to be the winner. Thanks, June!
Here’s what the publisher says about June’s latest collection:
Our gardens grow us, and this collection of readings takes us down a path of pleasure. The overriding intention of Garden Blessings is to provide a heartwarming, spiritually focused collection of uplifting prayers, prose, and poems that share a common joy and appreciation for the love of gardening and the many blessings that gardens bring to our lives. June Cotner, a best-selling inspirational author, has gathered a bounty of garden blessings here, offering gems of wisdom that remind the reader and gardener in all of us just how much we learn from our gardens.
Me again: You’ll want your own copy, and the book makes a great gift. Here’s the Amazon link. I do think this is one of the loveliest book covers ever! I had fun photographing it a few weeks ago on an old pedestal that usually holds a stone frog in my garden.