Jun 16, 2010


I awoke a bit earlier this morning so that I could take the time to snip a few blooms from my peony bush. I stepped out onto the moist sidewalk in the early morning air, eagerly waiting to choose from all the beautiful buds. I harvested two beauties and headed inside to make an arrangement to enjoy on my desk. In that moment, I remembered my Grandma Purves.

Her back yard was lined with peonies. As a child, going to her home on the river was a trip into a fantasy world. In that place, I was a princess and I explored nature with a woman of grace and tenderness. Her home represented an oasis away from the every day life. My life was already great as a child, but going to Grandma's became almost magical.

She loved to garden and I would spend hours outside with her, barefoot in the garden, harvesting delicious treasures to eat and store away for the long winter days. I would nibble little morsels of vegetables and fruits as I "helped" Grandma with her gardening chores.
Somehow I would wander away from the garden and end up at the rivers edge or better yet,  I would end up laying in the grass, mystified by the puffy white cloud shapes passing in front of my eyes. All the while, Grandma stayed steady, hoeing and harvesting.

Sometimes I would head the opposite direction towards the back of the garage. This was an area of beauty. Peony bushes grew in abundance along the run down building. They also extended onto the lawn and created a natural fence from the neighbors. I would walk along the peonies, in awe of their beauty and wondered how a flower could be so large.
Then, I would spot the myriad of ants scurrying in and out of the velvety petals as though they were running through a maze. Later as an adult I learned that the ants were necessary to open the buds, but as a child, I just thought my Grandma had a huge insect issue that she needed to attend to.
This walk along the peonies became a royal walkway in my princess mind. It was a place of majesty. In it, I felt loved, cherished, and a sense of awe and wonder. Beauty and comfort surrounded me. The sun was shining and I was loved.... life was good.

Now, when I see peonies, those memories and thoughts come flooding back. Unfortunately, there are many things in our lives that can bring back "bad" memories, but I choose to fill my life with memories of the "good old days". I choose to keep the memories alive by keeping reminders nearby. And once again, I re live my days of youth and feel like Grandma is right near by, with thoughts of love.

What's a great memory that you have?
What do you do to keep it alive?

1 comment:

Shaun and Holly said...

Great writing Cheryl! It was a pleasure to read and I felt like I could smell the lovely perfume of those peonies as I read about your Grandmother's garden. *happy sigh*

What's a great memory that I have?

Hmmm....well I really did love doing one-on-one things with my Dad. Once went sailing with him for 2 days and 1 night. Loved it!!! The weather on the water was a bit stormy one of the days. Dad had 2 friends with him to help sail but it was a rough ride. I think he felt badly for me and on the way home bought me a pair of shoes with a "kitten heal". :) Sweet memories!