The front path winds
just a bit,
flowers bloom at your feet
and the sound
of trickling water
draws your eye
to a corner where water
flows out of a fountain
in a corner formed
by the ivy-covered
garage wall.
Something inside me
sighs,
even before the front door opens
and friends Debra and Mike Luther
welcome a visitor.
They have been welcoming life
at their place in the Oklahoma City suburbs
for about 20 years.
A native of Tulsa,
where trees grow tall,
Azaleas and Dogwoods
cast their elegance and beauty,
Debra hoped to recreate
a Tulsa landscape in western Oklahoma City.
It was not to be,
though not for Debra’s efforts.
Now she has accepted
her micro environment,
dedicating her efforts instead
to the plants that thrive
where she is.
The backyard garden
is a testament
to thoughtful care.
Each plant is known and cared for—
chosen for the spot where it can thrive,
for its contribution not only to beauty
but for the pollen and food
it provides some other life.
Each plant appreciated
for its unique beauty.
Each plant tended
because caring
is what we do.

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A wisteria reaches exuberantly
across the patio pergola.
Corners are filled with varieties
of cover plants,
beds, with various lilies,
perennials.
Some plants are reminiscent
of Debra’s grandmother’s garden
and others hold special meaning,
like a pot where a lotus lives.
Mike’s vegetable garden
is at the sunny end.

On visits,
walking barefoot through the garden
first thing in the morning,
sitting together for meditation
under the wisteria and the giant Sweet Gum tree,
listening to the bells,
the water,
the wind,
watching the birds,
the butterflies,
the squirrels,
I am grateful for
friends who share the sanctuary
they have created right here in the suburbs;
who teach and model
a thoughtful life
of beauty and care and generosity
and hospitality;
who know that co-creating a place
in the natural world
and spending time there
watching,
tending,
listening,
smelling,
appreciating
is critical
for all life on this planet.

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