2014; “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times”

The warm Spring air of 2014 was scented with the fragrance of Gillyflowers, Sweet Rocket and Narcissus, and the garden bloomed, rested, then bloomed again with blood red, Summer, Flanders Poppies, rainbow coloured Zinnias and cobalt blue Cornflowers. But by the time the Autumn Rudbeckia were in flower and my cherry red sandals were quite worn, I was divorced and my beloved cat Ossie had died.

Whilst the garden was picture perfect, my inner world showed signs of stress. I got into multifarious muddles; with paperwork and bills, and with a chaotic untidiness inside the house, which made everything impossible to find. And I could not ever clear it up. I have swung from happiness to despair in a matter of moments and gone to mad making extremes, sometimes spending too much money, sometimes shopping at flea markets to survive.

I have cooked, baked, gardened and power- walked to excess, throughout the year, trying coming to come to terms with my new status as a single person whilst my ex-husband described the divorce as something he “did not see as a termination”, but, something he did “to draw a line, not to move on without each other”. By the time the flowers in the Cottage Garden were shedding their seeds, my confusion was complete and no weeding or pruning could seem to sever the invisible and deep rooted ties I felt I had to a 35 year old marriage.

Then, yesterday, under a cool blue sky, I returned to the garden to clear away dead leaves and found the shoots of Snowdrops breaking through the ground. Here was a sign of new growth! And I realised that my old life was all but gone and that it was time for the last remnants of it to be let go in order for a new life and vitality to blossom and flourish.

It is time to try to start living again……..

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…”

 A Tale of Two Cities (1859) Charles Dickens.


18 thoughts on “2014; “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times”

  1. What a beautiful post, Karen. Life does change without full warning, and leave us confused or regretful at times, and we can’t pretend that things are normal. We have to find a new way of living. Thanks for your bravery, for the beautiful gifts you give to your followers on your blog, including your generosity of spirit.

    May 2015 be a wonderful one for you.

  2. Thank you so much Cynthia. I know that we are survivors and there is much to look forward to. I so appreciate your thoughtful reply and your best wishes.
    I hope that 2015 is a great year for you too!

  3. Hi Karen,

    I think that your garden sounds amazing almost magical.The pictures that you have taken to share it with us are even more beautiful in reality. I was surprised that you did it all yourself without a gardener. It shows what a labor of love that it truly is for you.

    I am sorry that it has been such a tough year for you. I am so glad that you are feeling the happy and hopeful stirring that spring will bring new beginnings.I hope and pray this year will bring much happiness and good fortune.

    • Thank you so much Honey. I know how hard last year was for so many of us, especially you, who struggled so with your health. I think we all got through it with the support of each other and that’s what makes the future seem so much brighter and to hold so many possibilities. Letting go is the hard thing…..I think sometimes we must be brave and just…JUMP!
      Thank you so much for your good wishes and I send mine to you as well.

  4. A year of grieving. So painful and now things are sprouting and you are ready. What is the saying……’what doesn’t kill us will make us stronger.’ You have weathered a big storm. I wish for you a new year of peace. Much love, Gretchen.

    • You are so kind and clever to recall that old saying. It is true actually. I have tried so hard, as well, not to let what has happened change me. There have been losses, but I have tried to let go with grace. Thank you so much for your good wishes, it means a lot.
      With love,

  5. Sorry to read you have had such a horrible, testing year, I did not realise. Prayers and thoughts for you into this new year, and I hope the kitchen and garden continue to bring you a sense of stability and strength


    • Thank you so much Kevin. Yes, at least I did not lose my garden. All troubles simply melt away when I am working the soil.
      Happy New Year to you and I hope you are enjoying your Kitchen Aid Mixer!

  6. Oh, Karen. What a year! So much loss, so many emotions. I didn’t realize, from past reading, that the divorce was so recent and the hurt so fresh. But your attitude, right now, seems healthy and so positive–I’m sure there will be rough moments to come but it does seem you’re ready to enjoy your world again. I’m glad you felt that you could share all this with us, that this was a safe place for you.

  7. I am sorry you had to go through this, but I have found the garden is the heart of my home:-) I wish you a great year + just like our flowers, we will bloom again inside and out!

  8. I am a slo sorry that you had to go through this separation! But what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger! I believe that, my dear friend. Hang in there & virtual hugs to you! xxx

    • Thank you so much Sophie. I had been married for 35 years, so it has been so much to adjust to. But you are right about difficult experiences making us stronger. I don’t think I am over it all yet, so I try to remember to be kind to myself and to know that things will get better. Thank you so much for your kindness. X

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