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Blessings, Gratitude and Peace

Leaning back in my patio chair, I’ve paused my to-do list and relish the quiet enveloping my yard after the last week’s hustle and bustle as we prepared for the upcoming Comstock family reunion. My daughter and her children, along with my son and his family, helped us whip the yard into shape. We pulled weeds, pruned plants, and spread mulch. That my children would take time from their own busy lives and band together to help Keith and me accomplish this task is a blessing. To have done this with laughter while singing off key to a playlist gives an added dimension to the blessing. It’s nearly overwhelming. My gratitude runs deep.

Memories flit through my mind like digital photographs in a slide show. I see myself in Virginia helping my mother in her flower beds filled with coreopsis, apricot irises, dainty pink cora belles, and snapdragons. She would work beside me until she was tired and then went to play with my youngest children, Kenny and Sarah. A blink and I’m helping Sarah garden at her first rental home. Working side by side, we plant hostas in the front flower beds. Out back we start a vegetable garden. She was so proud of her efforts. Another blink and I’m at my mother’s last home in Texas. Sarah, my sister, Terry, and I are creating flower beds from scratch. Hostas go under a shade tree; snapdragons line the beds next to the house. Holly trees with red berries grace a far corner. My brother, Ben, lays a small brick area for Momma’s bench to make it easy to mow around. We laugh and say today will be the big HGTV reveal. I can still hear Momma’s admonishment as she maneuvers her walker out of the front door while still tethered by the hose to her oxygen machine. “Sherry! Terry! Sarah! It’s 101 degrees! Get in the shade; drink some water. Y’all aren’t construction workers, you know."

The noisy calls of young starlings at my bird feeders break into my reverie. Still, thinking of past homes, I feel blessed to have a home that lends itself to my gardening mania and hosting an event for forty-plus people. There are so many who don’t have safe, appropriate shelter or enough food. My heart overflows with gratitude.

Peace flows through me as I look out at my flowers and listen to the birdsong. Peace, too, is a blessing not all can share. Though I truly wish I could grant everyone peace. Soon I’ll have to get back to my to-do list. But for these next few moments, I will embrace the peace and enjoy the warmth of the sun.

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