Life takes a toll. The normal tides of living—the ebb and flow of stress and relaxation, illness and wellness, injury and healing—are sometimes overtaken by tsunamis that overwhelm. Top off the personal challenges with all the hate, vitriol and violence polluting humanity, and I find the need to take shelter and hide.

My garden is my refuge from it all. Listening to the water splashing in the fountain and the goldfinches singing; taking in the textures, colors and smells of the plants brings me peace and rejuvenation. When I’m digging to place or move a plant, I scoop up a handful of dirt, take a good whiff, and absorb the earthy scent!

Unless I invite people in or post photos, no one sees my garden but me and my family. It’s my creative endeavor that isn’t subject to critique or approval, as my art work and my day job work are.

When I’m in my garden, whether tending to its needs or moving to and fro in the swing Fred built me, I really don’t care at all what other people think about me, my work, or issues of the day. I can escape from the world with all its troubles and hide.