Whenever l feel like I've lost my way, or everything just seems too much
There's a place I know I can go that will set me right again.
If you drive north of Sacramento for an hour or so
you'll come to a batch of small towns.
This valley is where my family on both sides have lived for generations.
Here, time slows down.
And yet everywhere the farmlands are teeming with life.
My Dad and his sister, our beloved and faith-filled Auntie Ellen,
have lived here in a house together for more than 20 years.
It reminds me of Matthew and his sister Marilla from Anne of Green Gables.
And like Green Gables this place is strong and wholesome.
My aunt has a garden that's seen us through all our joy-filled and rugged years together.
It's put vegetables on our table in the summer and fall.
It's allowed us to daydream in green during winter.
And it's brought us a healthy dose of anticipation in the springtime.
(Not to mention a lion's share of gardening for my aunt to do.)
Just now, leaves are everywhere you look: on the ground, climbing the walls,
and falling off the windswept trees all day.
The bees are busy.
Rosemary, mint, basil and lavender are at the ready.
The marigolds are standing up too,
awaiting their summer duties to protect the tomatoes
and their nearby neighbors- bell peppers, cucumbers, squashes, green beans...
The apple and peach trees seem to know something we don't.
How can they be so, so beautiful without a single fruit yet?
And the roses. The roses.
They're just tangled up everywhere.
No one knows what heaven looks like, but a well tended garden has to be pretty close.