Memories of Gardening on a Snowy Chicago Morning and a Writing Prompt for Journalers


Last Sunday morning, as big snowflakes came down (sigh),I pulled out an old video titled “the backyard.” I popped it into the video player and sat back to watch. It was a film of my backyard, back in the days when we had a house with a big yard, back when I was a weekend gardener.

The film brought back many happy memories. It records a year of life in the garden  starting with spring flowers: yellow daffodils, red tulips, blue hyacinths, and deep pink bleeding hearts. Next, a crabapple tree laden with huge white blossoms. A fat brown rabbit chews grass nervously, ears up, looking around and chewing away. A chickadee flies in and out of a wren house on the brown wooden fence, a nest of young ones inside. Cut to a fat robin sitting on top of that same fence scratching itself and looking around…. And seasons change and plants change and much more…

It was 1996 and this much younger Maureen spent many an early hour in her backyard tending to plants. I remember the black dirt caked under my fingernails. I remember the quiet of those mornings. 

It won’t be long Chicagoans – really! — until spring is here, then summer  While we wait, I include an old photo of a scene from my garden in late summer.  See the red monarda (bee baum), the pink cone flowers, and a wild flowery vine escaping over the fence. 

For journalers:  Now find a comfortable place, and tune into your writer’s mind…enter my backyard  –or yours! Pull up a comfy lawn chair, writers, in  an imaginary garden.  Soak in that beautiful sun or find a shady spot under the apple tree .  Open up your journal and write, “the thing I really want to focus on right now is…”




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