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I’m a retired therapist who specialised in parenting. I write on the edge of verse and prose about plants and people and simple things.

How a friend tended my spirit as she taught me about gardening.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

I say I’m a self-taught gardener, but that is incorrect. I first fell in love with gardening when visiting a neighbor’s garden. My friend Glennis gave me my first gardening lessons.

Seemingly a strong independent person, the truth is I was an injured bird, not raised but grown up in poverty. I hid a deep reservoir of pain from abandonment and various tortures. Having no interest in pity for myself, I kept busy and found joy in my child and the things I could learn and do.

But injured birds are fragile.

It was over 50 years ago. I hadn’t…


THANK YOU NOTE

I didn’t know you were the one who loved me. Not all moms have given birth — some just gave life.

Photo of me taken by the husband of the lady I lived with. Image by Katie Michaelson.

Dear Helen,

“Happy Mother’s Day.” I wish I’d said these words to you when you were alive.

I didn’t know. I knew there must have been someone because I had memories. Lovely memories. I remembered:

saying my prayers
warm water running from my head to my toes
giggling
being in someone's arms
smiling people
happiness

Memories that had nothing in common with my life. I knew I wasn’t right — that something was wrong. But I didn’t know what.

I don’t blame my birth mother. It must have been hard for her to raise a child that was critical of…


THANK-YOU NOTES

A thank you note for springtime

Photo by Katie Michaelson

Dearest Springtime.

My lovely Springtime. You give birth to floral glory year after year and ask nothing in return. Thank you for the flowers peeking through the earth. Thank you for the green just beginning to be seen. You’re faithful in the energy you give each year. And I'm grateful. So grateful.

Your power is magical. You give us long- long moments of awe.

And wonder.

A pause. A time to stop and feel.

And see.

And hear.

And it happens every year. I remember as a child I’d hope the feelings I had when you arrived would spread and…

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