Rays so radiant, burnished bright
Sunflower faces beaming high
Solidago spreading yellow light
Peaches ripening as branches sigh
Flickering flames of Monarch flights
Mantled in gold is August.
– Shobha Vanchiswar
Joy and gratitude in reuniting with my father notwithstanding, I miss my garden. The flowers that showed up and left, the butterflies that visited, imbibed and moved on, the nests that were built and occupied. Being cooped up in a city apartment has revealed most clearly just how much my garden contributes to my well-being. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no remorse in coming to Mumbai at such a difficult, scary time. My heart could simply not bear the forced separation from my father any longer. He and I needed this visit equally. It’s been fraught with emotion and that’s exactly why I miss my garden. The monsoons rains prevent me from seeking a temporary sanctuary in a park or public garden. In fact, the sun has graced us on just two brief occasions over the course of almost 3 weeks!
Being in my little botanical paradise gives me perspective and balance. A daily dose of time in the garden admiring the flowers, being entertained by the wildlife, tending to chores provides the much needed time to muse over whats happening in my life and work out solutions, make immediate and long-term plans and often, take stock of all the many blessings I’m given – in essence, one gains perspective and clarity. It is the therapy so priceless and valuable that I miss it no matter where I am for any length of time.
As I wrestle with future actions to keep my father safe, happy, engaged and comfortable in these uncertain times, I wish I had access to my garden. It would help me make good, wise decisions. As always.
The images below are from last July/August –
(c) 2021 Shobha Vanchiswar