This is a photo of the entrance to our Chapel Garden. It was taken last summer.
Gayland and I sit in the Chapel Garden almost every night, unless it's raining or just too icy. We pray and talk and dream and review the day and laugh at our dogs who think the gardens were created for their personal pleasure -- and who's to say they are wrong?
We haven't been sitting together in the garden much this Lent -- not because we don't want to, but because Gayland had a triple bypass operation, and then barely two weeks later, a stress ulcer in his stomach perforated, sending him to the ER in an ambulance and into emergency surgery at 3 A.M.
He almost died.
Now he's in the ICU and recovering. He walked a long distance today, and sat in a chair for a long time. Maybe tomorrow he will be out of the ICU. Maybe.
This has been a Lenten experience I hope to never have again.
After I came home from the hospital tonight, I went with the dogs to sit in the Chapel Garden. The start of Daylight Savings Time meant it was still light enough to see. So as the dogs arranged themselves on and around my feet -- dogs believe that warm feet are very important when comforting someone -- I gazed out at the garden and gave thanks.
Thanks that Gayland has survived this challenge. Thanks for the skill of his surgeon. Thanks for the gentleness and skill of his nurses. Thanks for the meals that friends have brought. Thanks for the prayers of countless people. Thanks for the kindnesses without number that people have shown us.
I looked at the spring bulbs just now opening into beautiful blooms and I wept at their courage. All these bulbs pushing toward the Light, not knowing whether or not a freeze tomorrow might kill them. For them, Easter is the only possibility.
I take hope from them, and courage.
All will be well, they proclaim. All manner of things will be well.
God, please make it so.