Wednesday, September 06, 2006
During the age between being a girl and becoming a woman, we lived in the same area as my grandmother (Gram) for whom I am named. At the time, Gram lived in an apartment and didn't have a garden of her own. So on the weekends, she would come spend the night, (we shared a room) and garden in our yard to her heart's content. This was my first exposure to someone who truly loved growing things. Because it was in my mother's yard, she kept most of the garden formal. But on the side of the house that couldn't be seen from the street, she planted a whole bed of zinnias.
No matter what was going on in the house, I could always go outside and sit in the dirt next to Gram. I don't remember talking much. I'm sure we did; we were very close. What I do remember, was being completely loved and accepted. She never judged me. She was quick to laugh. And for whatever reason, I understood that she understood me. I didn't have to pretend to be happy. She just loved me, no matter what.
During the week I would often go to the zinnia bed and marvel at the flowers. How could so many beautiful flowers come from one tiny seed packet? I would try to find a favorite, but in the end I liked them all. I would gather a bouquet and take it to my room, and wait for my roommate to return. Zinnias, in all their glory, became synonymous with perfect love, acceptance, happiness, and contentment.....just like my grandmother. All the best parts of me stem from my grandmother's influence that started growing all those years ago in the zinnia bed.