"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh." George Bernard Shaw
This morning a cherished friend came over, dug holes in my yard, poured in a shrub-friendly mixture of potting-soil-plant-food-nutrient... stuff, and planted some flowering bushes I've had since Mama's funeral. I provided a shovel, the yard, the plants, a hose pipe (and water, of course), a bucket and an opportunity for the two of us to get into some DIRT! I was a little concerned, at first, that I was making her do all the work. I even apologized for the clumsy way at which I was going about the whole thing. It's been a long time since I've planted shrubs or flowers and I didn't have a clue about how to start, much less how to proceed once I got into it. We were setting out Gardenias and Hydrangraes (I'm not even sure how to spell either one), both requiring proper light/shade, soil, moisture and attention. Up until today, I had given them water and kept them out on the porch or the patio in the same containers I had received them in, you know, the little pots that barely have enough room to hold a tangle of roots. They were beyond looking like they had not been given to a good home.
Anyway, as I was apologizing (for the 3rd or 4th time) for all the work my friend was having to do, she paused from digging, looked up at me through strands of sweat soaked hair and said, "I am having a great time! Stop worrying! This is what I LOVE doing. You can sort of pretend that you're happy or that everything is alright, but you just can't fake fun!" She looked like she was having fun, and I wanted to have fun, so we did! It was a great couple of hours. We were digging and planting and I was learning how to do something on my own. But, the best part of it was spending time with a dear friend.
My friend and I are both striving for peace and understanding in the midst of great losses. It would have been easy for us to have sat in my den and wept for what is not anymore, or for what could have been, and we still may do that sometime. Today, though, we worked, side by side. We laughed, out loud. It felt real and it felt good. We just couldn't fake fun.
Love, peace and an enormous thank you to my precious friend, for teaching me today about planting Gardenias and Hydrangeas, and, about how to nurture the fun and funny side of life. You are loved beyond words.