January 2012 - To Those We’ve Loved and Lost
From the end of 2010 through 2011 “it” seemed to never end. Perhaps I’m just getting older and this is part of life now, but the loss of my son’s best friend to leukemia to his other best friend’s mum dying of cancer, it seemed we wouldn’t recover. Then the loss of my marriage at the end of this year and another grieving period starts only to be finalized by one of my dearest friend’s death on Christmas Eve.
So how do we move forward? How do we start the New Year fresh?
I find myself thinking about all of the great people in my life and what they have meant to me. Remembering the good times and moving forward sometimes is the only answer. We do that in the way we remember, even when traveling. As we move through the world in our travels, we are reminded by our own experience to tread lightly, to move freely and to cherish time spent with those that touch us in ways we never thought possible. I find myself this new season, trying to create a sense of place for myself, my children and for you in what I have to offer in touring. I’ve been doing this by remembering the people that have shown me a sense of place, of belonging and each one of us has the ability to create this for ourselves and to share it with others.
On this page you will find a video created by the Dublin Garden Group about my friend John Ross and his wife Rubel. We lost John on Christmas Eve. I met John and Rubel by chance, a friend asking me to go to see the garden, would only take half an hour…3 hours later, I finally left. I was instantly enchanted. I had made a friend for life. His guidance in my life over the past few years has been invaluable. Their garden where they spent 40 years creating their sense of place, to share with you and I, hold my memories of him for all time. They gave tirelessly and as I remember him on our last visit in July, he insisted on showing me a few new things in the garden. Shuffling his tired body of 92 along the path, hand in hand we strolled, talking about life, Rubel’s Gravel garden and if he died while we were on our walk… to just leave him there. He was happy. True gardeners both, they encouraged me to write, to create and to live. Our conversations were deep and our love for coffee and good wine didn’t go unnoticed.
The last book I gifted to them was Rick Darke’s remake of The Wild Garden, originally by William Robinson and is what some of the gardens in Ireland are based upon. Not only did it provide a back drop for an informal and wild garden, but it also provided gardeners a way to create their own sense of place. To me the essence of the Ross’s will live on in the garden, any garden that you come upon because as we are all connected, we remember the good times, we cherish and we honor that memory by creating.
As we create the year ahead, I hope you’ll join me in remembering fondly those we have loved and lost. And I hope you’ll join me in creating new memories, ones to be shared and cherished.
We have a great year planned. We’re expanding and growing to offer you a chance to explore Ireland with us and on some tours, we’re offering you a way to help to create that sense of place I keep talking about. Stay tuned. We hope you can join us in conversation and in travel.
Edited: January 2014 to include video of John & Rubel's Wild Garden on this page instead of the original garden page. If you're here, Please see our Garden page to join in The Wild Garden Tour! We'd love to have you along!
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