Garden Ritual

I take his hand
Always his left hand
As together we walk
Through the door
Onto the back porch

Pausing before the sacred space

With measured tread
We walk the green aisles together

Past the welcoming incense of herbs
Rosemary, sage, parsley
Thyme, marjoram, oregano

In quiet respect
We approach the vegetables beds
Where peas congregate
Shooting skyward with silent noisiness
Potato plants break from their earth caskets
Cold crop choirs sing their lusty leaves
Candle leeks and onions light our way

With softly murmured devotion
We move through white robed azaleas
Past their crimson co-celebrants

Under the towering spruce
Second to none in reaching for God
We settle onto the small bench
Next to the arching bridge
Over the small spring that runs to the pond

In the shade of the back garden
The garden that only looks natural
But was built carefully
With his skillful hands

Here we rest
Speaking quietly
Of Lenten roses almost gone
White and purple redbuds
Lifting their not yet leafy arms to pray
Lowly Virginia bluebells
Bowing their reverence

We walk on
Down the chipped path
Past the pond
Where juniper and violets
Dwarf hemlock and Japanese maple
Reach for the baptismal waters

Pausing to inhale the blessing
Of arched Carolina jasmine

Past the witch hazels
Renowned wound soothers
Bright primroses
Upright peony acolytes
Solomon’s seal
Grace our worshipful journey

Sweet succulents welcome us back
To the shelter of our porch
To the door back inside

Re/freshed and re/healed
Ritual re/newed
We re/enter quarantine.

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