And the benefits of my March cleanup efforts are everywhere I look. The ponds and streams constructed years ago now flow cleanly and powerfully. The roses are magnificent.
I can recall so readily what this house looked like when we came here…can it possibly be seventeen years ago? There was nothing.
Sage brush and bare dirt where our predecessors had begun a lackluster start at landscaping but managed only to remove the sagebrush. Granted, sagebrush is not pretty, even slightly so but it sure does a bang up job preventing soil erosion. When the winds blew crazily as they do very often, all we could see was clouds of dust.
When my friend Nancy first suggested that I create Our Lady’s Rose Garden, she pointed to the Our Lady of Fatima statue along with the three Fatima children sitting forlornly in front of the porch in the dirt, I was dumbfounded, my thoughts all over the place. Nancy isn’t Catholic…in fact, she’s fairly close to being anti-religious…even hostile to organized religion.
Smiling at my speechlessness, Nancy explained, “They are all over Ireland. This would be perfect for a rose garden because of the southern exposure therefore morning sun.” My friend looked most pleased with herself, obviously picturing a rose garden where there now existed hard scrabble crushed granite dirt.
“Roses? You are joking, I know nothing about roses.”
“Lin, you don’t need to know anything. You just need sun, water and rose fertilizer.”
My friend was so very right. Sun, water, fertilizer and pruning…
Ten maybe twelve years later after we planted the first rose bushes, here are some images from Our Lady’s Rose Garden that John took a few days ago. The last in the sequence is the rock path leading to the gazebo along the ‘islands’ of perennials…another suggestion of Nancy’s.
The orioles do look exactly like this. In fact, some of the males are an even more startling color. Strangely tropical birds in the high desert of Nevada that migrate over two thousand miles from deep in southern Mexico. And come here to breed.
And some springs, like this one, we see western tanagers as well.
The splendor of these gifts of spring in Nevada at times overwhelm me. The beauty feels unearthly and I think of Eden. A place I believe did indeed exist. I hear echoes of Eden now and then. When I listen to the sounds of the streams, and watch these glorious creatures in awe, I ponder frequently the mind of a creator who could conjure these creatures while keeping in mind the whales and the elephants…and me.
And I wonder about that glorious time when we had no need to speak, when all creatures communicated without the need of words- what must that have been like to be able to know the minds of all created beings?