I have wonderful memories of riding in the car with my mom, as she pointed out front yards dotted with blooms or freshly mowed grass. She'd always say, "Honey, you can tell how happy someone is by the way they take care of their yard. " She was talking about attitude not finances.
Life has been a tad heavy lately. My terrace looks exactly like my mood which brings me to Aunt Ruth's terrace. I don't remember a summer when her yard didn't sing, and now that she's in an apartment, her terrace is always decorated with flowers. No matter what. Her husband and children are gone, but her life is filled with friends and family and an underlying optimism fueled by her faith and her attitude towards staying the course.
To the sisters who taught this daughter and niece that mustering courage to plant flowers during tough times helps hope bloom, I send my deepest thanks. If you need an instant boost, try the garden. I know this sounds trite and mundane, but don't the simple joys help us all jolt out of our own sorrows for a while? Aunt Ruth's ingredients for living well are small ways to achieve bigger results. At least, that is what photographing her and listening to her has done for me.
Here's to blooms and small changes!