Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm bacccccccccck . . .



Today is the eve of August the Eleventh, and I'm bacccccccck, as promised (on 7.30.12), from my mini "hiatus" from blogger, after spending time to be with my sister during her much welcomed annual visit.

Prior to my sister's arrival — as I was composing my entry on 7.30.12 (which discussed the loss I was feeling over my absent cardinal) — my intent was to have today's post be a return to another loss in my urban garden. This loss being the death of my very sweet Japanese Larch (Larix Kaempferi) who lived in a lovely bowl (pictured above) before succumbing to the awful heat wave and periods of drought we've had in NYC this summer.
My Japanese Larch (Larix Kaempferi)'s life in my urban garden was cut short by Mama Nature, and I recall the date that this larch first arrived, a day that prompted me to remove a metal "SODAS" sign in my garden, as indeed there is "no billboard as lovely as a tree," which I discussed in an entry here on blogger in the spring of 2011, and, if you want to, you may refer to it by clicking here.

I am still at a loss for words about my Japanese Larch (Larix Kaempferi)'s death, especially since she was so understanding about the loss of another larch in my garden, a larch she never met, a larch known as my beloved Karmatsu, who was discuused here on blogger in 2010!

In any event, my Japanese Larch (Larix Kaempferi)'s meaning in my life and in my garden, goes beyond what I am up to stating in today's entry; however, since I have created a pictorial virtual story about her, I will post it, but not just yet (please bear with me and stay tuned).

What I will say today about my Japanese Larch (Larix Kaempferi) has to do with her container. Her empty container is not unlike the empty space in a medicine cabinet, which was in the bathroom of the house my sister and I lived in when I was a child; so please let me digress:

Once upon a time, in the 1960's, my family took a vacation to visit my father's sister in California. The onset of our trip was exciting for me, I'd never met my artist aunt or been on an airplane, and I envisioned California as a place I'd fill my autograph book with the signatures of movie and television stars!

We arrived during the week that the Watts Riots (which occurred forty-seven years ago tomorrow from August 11th to August 15th in 1965) would ultimately take place, and while police officers roamed the streets in the areas where we were staying, shouting on mega-phones, "Do not go out of your house tonight!," we did go out of the house: to a rodeo; to a baseball ball game; and to separate the family; for my parents had their own "riot," causing my mother to insist I go with her to a motel, while my sister stayed at my aunt's house with my father. It was agony for me as I did not want my father to think I was taking sides. (He came to the motel room where we were staying, pounding on the door, calling out for reconciliation, but she would not allow me to answer it, hence I thought he would believe that I did not welcome him.)

I returned from the "vacation," with an empty heart and an empty autograph book; and a heavy feeing that if I had said or done something differently, my parents would have stayed together! However, my father moved out of the house soon after our trip, and my childhood diary entry saw it like this: "When we return to Illinois, Dad moves his things out of the house.The front closet has an empty space in it where Dad’s coats used to hang.There is a space in the medicine cabinet where Dad’s Old Spice after shave had always been placed. Now, even the smell of that is gone."

During my sister's very recent visit (or any of her visits for that matter), we did not discuss this painful incident; and folks I know (particularly my bike captain), often wonder why my sister and I do not spend our time talking about the past in an attempt to gain perspective. The fact is when she comes to see me, we just focus on what we are doing and what we are seeing at a given time.

I suppose I should apply this "practice" to the things which live in my garden and enjoy my moments with them instead of mourning any losses, but with my Japanese Larch (Larix Kaempferi), my feeling is very similar to the feeling I had with my father's leaving, the "if I only I had done X, Y, Z; this would not have happened" syndrome. 

While my cognizant side knows I can't suck humidity out of the air, lower or raise the temperature of weather, start or stop rain, I still have a tendency to blame myself when things die in my garden, much as I did blame myself as a child for my father's leaving.

Perhaps, this entry is a little "TMI," especially since these blogger pages are rarely dedicated to personal experiences. Be that as it may, this is one of the stories that the loss of my Japanese Larch (Larix Kaempferi) has prompted me to share; the other a virtual pictorial one will be posted next week. 

Meanwhile, dear reader, how do you cope with your garden losses or any other loss for that matter?

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