Choosing one favorite garden this week was hard. I've loved many gardens in my life; I've always loved having plants and flowers around. At one apartment outside by the front door I had plants and flowers. When I was moving, several neighbors stopped me and said they were sorry I was moving, and did I have to take my plants and flowers?
My favorite garden, however, is one my father found for me.
Dad once lived in an apartment on Union Street in San Francisco. The first time I came to visit, he said "I have something to show you." He took me downstairs and opened the door to a backyard plush in green. There were roses, hydrangeas, roses, and daisies. It had just rained so everything was wet. "When the weather gets better, you can sit here and read," he said. I nodded. It was a secret garden.
On the weekends I went to Dad's, I spent time in the garden. Often I was the only person there. I would go there early Sunday mornings feeling guilty I wasn't in church. Dad liked sleeping in on Sundays, and there was that tiny little fact he was an atheist. The irony that his daughter was in Catholic school, loved singing hymns, and even thought about being a nun doesn't escape me.
Yet in the Secret Garden I felt near God. I knew He would forgive me if I didn't go to church. It was so quiet, so still on Sunday mornings.
Dad eventually moved to Walnut Creek, which upset me. Even though he was closer to me, it meant saying good-bye to the garden. Yet I'm still searching for another garden where I can feel God's presence, where I can feel holy blessed and loved.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries