Elbow-Deep in Soil and Sweat: Seasons’ Greetings from our Garden to Yours

Home from Haiti for a number of months now, Sara and I are waiting for what’s next, learning not to sweat the small stuff.

Sara, several weeks before we left Haiti--

It’s been a quiet few months—Sara cooking and working in the garden—me writing and making art—both of us enjoying much-needed time with family and friends.

Blogger Emily of "Hey from Japan" visited Sara and me-- http://www.amblerangel.wordpress.com/

Lisa of "Woman Weilding Words" also visited-- http://www.lisawieldswords.wordpress.com/

My mother and uncle at a party in our garden, September 2011

The dogs seem happy to be home again—sniffing the soil in their own back yard.  Inch by inch and foot by foot, they circle the fence line, looking for God-knows-what, navigating nose to earth, with seeming disregard for the eventual success or failure of their search.

Lucy--happy to be home---------

Ralph is equally pleased--

Sara and I are learning a similar appreciation for the process—the mere doing of things—less concerned about the outcome and more engaged in the nose-to-earth living itself—the letting go.

Sara started this process in the summer—reimagining nearly all of our back yard—building a raised bed—planting perennials—especially ones we brought back from Georgia, flowers  from a friend’s garden, and from another friend before that.

Marlene's (via Donna) flower--

These twice-gifted and double-blessed bulbs took root and grew the strongest and healthiest of all that Sara planted— a reminder that transplants, especially from friends, can sometimes yield the richest harvest.

Other flowers in our garden--

I’ve been doing some digging of my own, writing a memoir about my mafia father and missionary mother—(The God Father meets God the Father, I suppose you could say).  I’m realizing a lot about my past—how that makes me who I am.  I’m writing about roots, digging them up, planting them anew.

We don’t know what’s ahead, where we will find ourselves rooted this time next year.  At the moment, Sara’s doing a short-term project for the same NGO she’s worked with for decades, but after that we’re open, elbow-deep in unknown soil.

Amidst this uncertainty, however, we want to reaffirm our love for you, for friends and family, those who live close by and those who are rooted in more distant places.  You are dear to us—the “holy yes” with which we’re blessed, the love we grow together.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from our garden to yours.

With love from,

Kathy and Sara (and our dogs, Ralph and Lucy)

(Note:  I will be doing more memoir posts after the holiday.  If you are a new reader and you would like to look at some of my already-completed pieces about growing up with a mafia father, click here.)

50 thoughts on “Elbow-Deep in Soil and Sweat: Seasons’ Greetings from our Garden to Yours

  1. What a lovely reflection. We have all been through some major changes this year, and I love the idea of “the mere doing of things—less concerned about the outcome and more engaged in the nose-to-earth living itself—the letting go.” I’m glad that you both were part of my journey this year. Happy Holidays, and may the coming year bring you joy, happiness, creativity, flowers, and love.



  2. I’m practicing living with intention and listening to my intuition – the two “I’s”. 🙂
    I think those are two things that you and Sara have in spades and I love learning from you. So at this time of year, I’m especially grateful to send holiday blessings to you.
    PS – Don’t Ralph and Lucy look dashing!


  3. I don’t know how the Universe managed to connect us, but I am deeply appreciative, Kathy. I’m accustomed to living in my head and now I don’t quite as much, which is the better choice!

    Thank you for sharing your journey of the soul. It has its moments, but mostly it can only be good to sift through the detritus, the flotsam and jetsam, and decide how to assimilate that which has passed through us, sometimes rather painfully.

    Happy Christmas, Kathy, to you and Sara, as well as happy skritches to Lucy and Ralph. May your garden thrive!



  4. Beautiful post, Kathy. I read my runes (as I always do) for solstice, and the message that came out was much the same: try not to focus on the outcome, but enjoy the process of *getting to* wherever it is we’ll go. I hope that 2012 is a great year for you and Sara– safe, prosperous, and full of possibilities!


  5. Kathy and Sara, Ralph and Lucy ;-), I feel blessed to have met you this year. May your holidays be sweet, and may your new year be filled with adventuresome fun, and all things good. Blessings to you.


  6. Beautiful post Kathy! I hope someday I can meet you in person too! Wishing you and Sara and wonderful Christmas and holiday week! Looking forward to reading your wonderful blog in 2012,


  7. So glad to get to know you. I enjoy your writing so. Also, don’t tell Jim and Rosie, but I may be cheating on them with Ralph! What a looker!


  8. I’m in a thick fog this morning and realized only as you were closing that I was being privileged with your Christmas letter. Shall we toast to uncertainty and the beauty it can bring? Merry Christmas!


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