Magic + Mood: A Garden Story

There is a sense of dramatic mystery with florals against a dark backdrop.

pink azaleas floral arrangement - moody styled photography

The combination of dramatic darkness and soft bright foliage always reminds me of another era, another time, and when I look upon my own azaleas arranged prettily in the darkness, I'm instantly transported. 

My grandmother used to have azaleas blooming in her yard when I was little. The bushes were much taller than me with large pink blooms so overwhelmed by their abundance, they seemed to silently crush into one another. It was in front of these mammoth azaleas that she would sit me down so she could take my photograph.

pink azaleas

Apart from the wild violets dotting the yard and my forsythia, these dwarf azalea bushes are the first signs of spring in my yard and this year, the happy pink is an ode to  my grandmother, and I find myself wondering if she could - if she were able - would she ask me to sit for a photo again?

I almost think she will reappear to say yes, if only for a second. You see, my grandmother was the stuff of magic. I've written about her before, but she was alive then. Lately, I am mood and watery depths, bright smiles against a darkness within. The stuff of grief.

The other day I saw a post from my aunt on my father's side. She mentioned my great grandmother had dementia. That makes both sides now, and I wonder, will my mind slip like the women before me?

moody garden clippings flat lay

When I think of my grandmother's dementia, there is a tiny thought I won't dare to touch, and it is floating within me, waiting to be unleashed. It is grief set on fire. It is guilt crushed into fate. Knowing there is healing in our grief, it is still a struggle to walk through. It is still a spectacular haunting that latches to the soul, convincing you there's no escape, that you didn't do enough. When I think of my grandmother's dementia, there's a tiny memory that gives me hope: The pastor at her funeral declared that she is running and leaping with the Lord, that her mind is quick, that her eyes are sharp.

She is the stuff of magic once again.

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