Absence and the Fonder Heart


My courtyard from the back gate

Isn’t it curious how time away allows you to view your home through a new lens?

I always love coming home after time away to see my space afresh. It’s like re-reading a favourite book; you always discover something new, or something that was always there but after time away, can be appreciated with the benefit of a new perspective. This has been the case with my garden.

I arrived home at dusk but even in the dying light everything looked and felt different.  The growth was rampant, which is saying something after working in my sister’s wild garden. The formal bones of my  garden imposed by the restricted space, were still there, although in just two weeks, had been overwhelmed by Spring growth.


Oncidium Dancing Ladies

Oncidium orchids had burst forth in a cascade of arching yellow flower spikes, the water-lily was in perfect symmetrical bloom, and the deciduous gingers had awoken and were busy dressing up in robes of green. Everywhere I looked growth was the most evident change, closely followed by out-standing new blooms where only buds had been when I left.

The next morning I couldn’t wait to get outside for a closer inspection in the daylight. I was delighted to discover plants I’d forgotten I had were now dressing up for their seasonal party. Others I had planted before I went away with the hope they’d flourish without my input – had done so spectacularly, with no help from me. I was also relieved to find just one casualty and even then not un-salvageable. An irrigation line to a pot had blown and the petunia it contained was looking worse for lack of water. I’m pleased to report it’s now in recovery.

Absence increases my acuity. I see and feel things in an excitingly new, more appreciative way. Travel extends our minds, promotes new ideas and contributes to our evolving identities. The person I was when I left no longer exists.

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
― Heraclitus

22 responses to “Absence and the Fonder Heart

  1. Your courtyard looks to be a place to relax and meditate. I recall when I lived in the USA, how my cottage garden I built would slowly prepare for the onset of winter – in this case, feet of snow on it. The first year I was there I wondered if ever those beautiful flowers (tulips, daffodils, grape hyacinths…) would come back. Much to my delight, they poked their heads up out through the remnants of the snow. In their absence, my heart had grown fonder, and I found myself planting in new places and new varieties. So I do get that feeling you mention of seeing something through new lens.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, I consider myself very blessed to have had that opportunity. Some people I know are adamant they wouldn’t be able to get use to such a different climate — but I disagree — I think humans are very adaptable and if open to change, can achieve much. I guess that’s the operative word “open”. Have you lived elsewhere? With your anthropology background, I figured you might have. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A delightful post Robyn. It’s wonderful to feel the changes that travelling brings. Your garden looks very alive and vibrant. I’m sure it’s enjoying your new self too 🙂
    They’re beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Once again thank you for sharing your thoughts and your garden. Dividing my time between 2 houses I know what you mean about seeing your garden with fresh eyes. Our Gold Coast garden is obviously more tropical and self sufficient because we spend most of our time in Sydney. I’m always amazed how robust tropical plants are and no matter what the season they never fail to delight. Robyn the photos of your garden are wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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