In the garden, the earth was packed in tight. The tomato vines were spindly and gray, dead with the season. I pulled out the tomato cages and rested them in the garage until spring.
The children clomped over the wet dirt in rain boots, bundled in fleece coats and soft hats. They pulled weeds and plants out of the garden, all of them the same by now, none of them beautiful any longer.
It’s never enough to let old things wither away to die. We must secure the ritual of saying goodbye and retrieve them from their hold, flatten the soil, turn it over and rake it smooth so that it can percolate through the winter. We had an array of tools and two soft bags to carry them in. I pulled back the chicken wire and rolled it up as waste.
We had free entry into the garden box and when the sky opened its tears upon us, we were not deterred. Let’s stay out here, even in the rain, Mommy, the kids said. And I wholeheartedly agreed.
There are times when you feel so alive, moments you wouldn’t trade for anything. And that was one of them.
Like yesterday, in the children’s garden at MSU, when Shaya told his name to a little 3-year-old girl and asked hers. They ran through the Alice in Wonderland maze and over the green bridge, trampled on the pavilion seating and wandered through the pine tree playhouse.
When it was time to go, Shaya waved and then walked up to Kennedy and through his arms around her. “Bye Kennedy,” he said.
And as we steered the car away through the winding campus roads, he was melancholy in the back seat. “I miss my friend Kennedy,” he said.
The moments. Little jewels. The sky was gray yesterday and Asher’s soccer team lost their final game of the season terribly. A shut-out. One boy sat on the picnic table at the edge of the field, wholly disinterested in playing another game. He won’t be back next season. He is trading soccer for tennis, looking for answers in another sport.
What was good about today? I asked Eliana at bedtime.
Sunday school. Playing at the playground. The garden at MSU. Seeing Amanda. Being with you.
Jewels. Little things. The moments.
And a new week is dawning.