Dear Dad, I’ve been thinking….

by Elouise


Dear Dad,

I’ve been thinking about you a lot this week.  Wondering about things that happened and didn’t happen.  Wondering what it would be like if….

Actually, I got to the ‘what if’ stage just about an hour ago.  I woke up this morning wanting to write you a letter and send some pictures I think you’ll like.  So what would I say in the letter?

I played with the idea of just telling you about the pictures.  Where? When? And why I think you’d like to see them.  Like this one, taken in the newly renovated Conservatory.  They call it the Silver Garden.

Cactii at Longwood

The photos idea isn’t bad.  But it wasn’t enough all by itself.  I’ve been cooking this morning.  Cooking up a black bean and sweet potato stew with lots of yummy other stuff including jalapeno and chipotle peppers and lime juice—just to name a few. So my mind got cooking, too.

When I sat down for lunch to eat my stew (it smells heavenly!), I started thinking again about you and me.  Only this time I connected the photos I wanted to send with something I wrote yesterday for my blog.  It was about God as the Divine Gardener.

The photos remind me of you and how much you enjoyed gardening.  Which got my fertile imagination going.  Here’s what I concocted in my mind.

I’m imagining the two of us sitting together on a bench in Longwood Gardens.  Yes, the one in the picture at the top.  Maybe you remember being there in 1996.  The picture is in their outdoor succulent garden.  One of your favorite plant types.  I like them too—though I probably wouldn’t bring home cuttings from all over the place the way you did.  Or have the patience to keep them all alive and growing the way you did for many years.

So we’re sitting there, but we’re not alone.  I’m imagining the Divine Gardener (yes, that’s God) present as a visible third party.  Not a referee, not a judge, not an inspector or anything like that.  Just the Divine Gardener who cares deeply about what happens to us.  The way you always did about your plant collection.

The purpose of this ‘meeting’ isn’t just to admire the garden—though that would be a wonderful thing to do.  I’m asking the Gardener to help us find a way to relate to each other as the adults we are right now.  I’m not a little girl.  I’m the age I am right now–71 years old.  You’re the age you are right now–101 years old.  Can you imagine that?

As for what would happen in this conversation, I don’t know.  That’s up to us.  The Gardener, who already knows each of us better than we know ourselves, would be there to help us along.  So each of us could feel safe and free to talk with each other as adults.  I’m thinking it might not all be easy.  But who knows?

Well, that’s as far as I’ve gotten.  If I have any more ideas, I’ll let you know.  If I don’t, I still have lots of gorgeous shots taken by David that I know you’ll enjoy.

Love and a hug,

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 22 January 2015
Photo credit:  DAFraser, August 2014 (Garden Bench) and April 2012 (Silver Garden)
Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania