Dearest Robin – I just came in from your garden. I was standing on the flat stone next to the Buddha statue. I was holding my big mug of coffee thinking how wonderful to have this flat stone right here; I was having a standing meditation moment. Then my brain got into gear and told me, this flat rock didn’t just happen to be in this exact spot. And I cast my eyes over the other rocks and stones in the garden. I listened to the gurgle of the water and saw it flow down and bubble over perfectly placed pebbles into the pool below. And I thought each rock, flat or big boulder, was either found where it was and sculpted out of nature until it took the form you envisioned; or carried there by the sweat of your brow and the pain to your body. The dictionary definition of ART is: human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature; the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty.
This morning I was also remembering five years ago when your father was hooked up to tubes rooting him to the ICU in Albany Medical Center. I came out to the garden where you were working and berated you for digging holes in my property while my husband was in the hospital dying. You glared at me and said, “Don’t you dare bury my father before he’s dead. I expect him to be sitting out here next summer enjoying this garden. That’s why I’m doing this. I’m doing it for him!”
Five years later, I thank you for your effort, your vision, and your perseverance in the face of a raging bull of a mother! Five years later, your father enjoys sitting against the birch tree which shades your Japanese Garden chatting with me and taking pictures. We know that each carefully chosen tree in the garden was a Mother’s Day gift to me, a Father’s Day gift to Ray, and birthday gifts from you to each of us. Sometimes, I thought, “Oh, just what I wanted for my birthday, another tree!” But you had a plan and a vision and now we have a living gift from you. THANK YOU.