I love tending my garden. I am aware of its changing palette, the beauty of unfolding flowers, and the feel and smell of moist soil in my hands. And I am familiar too with the hard soil and the daily dying in my garden.
Several of these paintings were inspired by Suzanne Rhodes' following poem, that alludes to a loving Gardener who tends the gardens of our hearts.
I haven’t talked to you about
a dark space I dug up.
Clods and rocks I can pick out of soil,
blue veined clay I can nourish,
weeds yank up, shade, cut back.
hollow where no seed is meant to grow
astounds. I go back to basics,
trusting my hands to find the dirt
as it always was, humid and maternal,
easily worked to hatch seeds,
breach of earth voids every breathing
speck so that the spade in my hand weighs
more than death and the leaves that
I touch are still born.
must I keep tending,
must I turn this
blank into myself and vanish
or is the hole the entrance
into some new ground that is yet
familiar, tilled and fertile, vast
as my loss, tenderly sown with this?
Suzanne Underwood Rhodes