Thursday, May 5, 2016

#SOL16: Design

(M.A. Reilly, iPhone, hipstamatic app)

I've been planting. A lot. Filling clay pots with geraniums, petunias, fuchsia, lavender, lobelia, vinca, Dracaena spikes, rosemary, spearmint, tarragon, larkspur, snapdragons, and heliotrope. Inside, I have potted plants from last year and as soon as the weather warms a bit more I will be putting the parsley, basil, aloe, and cactus outside. In gardens I have planted over the years I notice that the peonies are up and the Hosta has broken through the ground and is unfurling. Azaleas and lilacs are beginning to bloom, rhododendrons are budding, day lilies are growing and the hydrangeas are beginning to reclaim their spaces. The butterfly bushes are greening and finally the birch trees are leafing. There's something so satisfying about growing plants and bushes; trees and shrubs.

Spring gardening reminds me that something bigger than my immediate sense of life is at work here. This morning find me thinking about Robert Frost who in the poem, Design, asked if design governs in a thing so small as the interaction among a spider, moth, and heal-all. Frost lodges such an important question of faith in a few lines. I remember Rob and I discussing this poem once and Frost's question during an English class. We were impossibly young at the time and matters of faith, of God, of mortality were distant marks we mostly ignored. We were so busy living, loving.

(M.A. Reilly, iPhone, hipstamatic app)
Now, matters of faith, of God, of mortality and afterlife are more immediate. I never expected Rob to die so young, to become a widow while still in my 50s. I didn't expect that my husband who never professed much belief in God would be the one to help me know that design does govern. In the last few weeks of Rob's life he shared with me what he was experiencing as he readied to leave this life. He told me he knew how to leave, how to cross over. He told our friend Jane one night as she sat up with him. As Jane tells me, Rob said, "I am seeing the most glorious things. Things you cannot see." 40 hours before he died, before he slipped into a coma, my brother, Jack and I stood next to Rob's bed and marveled at the look of ecstasy that lit his face as he stared at the ceiling of the room. We knew he was seeing well beyond what each of our eyes could see; he was seeing beyond our mortal limits. Rob told me he knew how to get to the next life and when it was my time he would be there to help me cross over. And he will.

Spring reminds me that life beats on infused with designs I sometimes understand and ones I am graced sometimes to sense.

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