Monday, 24 October 2011

My Grandfather's Garden

I'd been planning a series of posts for this week about my memories of loved ones and the giveaway over at Witch Blog fits in perfectly. So head on over there if you want a chance of winning a signed copy of Christian Day's The Witches Book of the Dead.

With Samhain drawing nearer and the dark closing in, my thoughts have been drifting more frequently towards those who have passed. I won't say those I have lost, because I haven't lost them. They are still near, still influence my thinking, still speak to my soul. They are still a part of life and I honour them all year round, but with Samhain approaching, with the veil thinning, it is time to celebrate their lives. It is time to tell their stories.

My great-grandfather was a gardener in a big house. He had been long retired by the time I was born but the garden of his home was immaculate. One of my earliest memories is of walking between the dahlias at the bottom of his garden. I must have been very young as I clearly remember looking up at the underside of the flowers as they towered above me. The very first thing I would do when we went to visit would be to run to the greenhouse to smell the tomatoes. I love the smell of tomato plants to this day and it never fails to take me back to the long, hot summers of my childhood. I'm sure I get my love of gardening from him although I'm not sure what he'd think of my little wilderness!

His life, and that of my Nana, was touched by tragedy. And more than their fair share too, I think. They lost one child in infancy, which although not uncommon back then, must have been devastating all the same. They lost another in WWII. My grandfather served in both wars. He lost an eye in WWI , he didn't talk about it but he used to lift his eye patch sometimes to show us! Being in his garden brought him peace; I think it was the only thing that did.

He was a quiet man, a strong man. He had a subtle humour and a big smile.

I still feel him with me; whenever things get really bad, when it seems that everything is falling apart, he is there. I don't see him, or hear him but I know he's there and without fail that's a sign that things are about to get a whole lot better.


  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story of your Grandfather. It's nice to know when our loved ones are still around us.

    Blessings, V.

  2. Your grandfather sounds like a good man to have in one's family - growing old without forgetting how to smile, with all the tragedies and hardships, is a gift.