Visiting David’s Auntie Mary today – a birthday – she is 97. 50 years older than me. 80 years older than the portrait of her on the wall.
She had to leave her house last year to move into a nearby care home, and in the clearing of her lifetime of accumulated possessions, we found an old piece of embroidery in a box. Treasure.
We also collected some of the gardening tools that she had worked with most of her life in her garden. I love continuing to use these kinds of tools – the hereditary repetitive collaboration of human culture with horticulture.
Today, we gave her spring flowers – iris, hyacinths and narcissi – and talked about her life, “I’ve seen more changes in my life than I think anyone has seen … like the speed of communication …. we know so much more about everything – is there anything we don’t know more about?” The one thing we agreed on: we don’t know any more about what happens after we die. We talked around the subject, various conjectures. towards the end of our conversation, David told a story about his mother:
When she was dying in the hospital, he went to see her. Her room had french windows that gave out onto the outside. She told David that her own mother had just been to see her (she had long since been dead), that she’d tapped on the windows, she was all smiling and happy.
She’d said “It’s alright, you should come out into the garden now sweetheart, it’s time to come out, it’s lovely out here.”