From a Secret Place

I am very pleased and thankful that a revised version of my blog post “Four” (originally published October 3, 2016) has been included in the June 2021 “Gardens” issue of ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal.

It is our first summer without him, an astonishingly beautiful day, and a Sunday, which makes it worse. I step outside to take a turn around the garden. That is where I go to think, to feel, and to remember.

Pausing at the far end, beyond the cabbages and the potatoes, out in the little meadow, I look back at the house, our sweet little cabin all covered with flowers and memories.

The sun casts cool shadows on the freshly mown lawn as I drift back into the not so very long ago. My heart sees four children rolling around on the grass with a couple of goat kids, a puppy, a bunny or two. They are loafing and laughing and just messing around and being together. I have spent some of the choicest moments of my life secretly watching the four of them together on that lawn.

It is not just missing Hans that has brought me to the garden today. It is missing them, all of them, together. Happy children on a Sunday afternoon, picking peas, pulling chickweed, growing faster than hybrid corn.

The desire to turn back the clock to one of those precious days, or to push it forward to when death will reunite us, is a treasure box of pain. It is an ache, a joy, that swells from the depths of my soul.

So, I am out here again, alone in the little meadow beyond the garden, crying of course–crying hard. I look back at the house again, then at the workshop and the animal pens. Where are my children? I listen for the shouts and the laughter, but I hear nothing. Nothing but a lone sparrow calling: Mommy I’m OH-ver here. I look up. Up is the only place to look. Up is where my boy is.

And then I see them. Three young eagles circling high overhead, far above the garden where my children used to grow. They gain altitude on the rising summer heat without a flap of a wing. I see a fourth eagle. It zooms at the other three and then zips away again in a provoking sort of way, like Hans used to do when he was being rascally. It keeps itself separate from the others, but not too far away. Like it is now for us. Here, but not here.

Then, a short time later, or maybe it was a long time, the fourth young eagle rejoins the others and together they begin playing eagle games. They soar for the joy of it, just messing around and delighting in a Sunday afternoon in summer. Four of them. Together. And from a secret place, the mother eagle watches.

8 thoughts on “From a Secret Place

  1. AWR

    I came across your blog earlier this year. After I lost my precious 22 yr old son in a horrifically tragic accident i was seeking answers. So many more questions and still no explanations as to why? Why my son’s car that tragic night had to break down and get hit. Was it random or was it part of a plan.

    After reading your story and your beliefs I find myself still with many questions which will always be there but it helps to know I’m not alone. And this particular blog was one that I needed to read again today especially because it is my first summer without my son. I feel that he is with me just not how I want him but I also know that Because my son’s faith is so strong I need to trust in him and Him.
    Thank you for sharing your journey. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for connecting – it is always a blessing to me when someone takes the time to reach out.

      While we do not have the answers and explanations we seek (yet), God does, and we can trust in Him for all of it. Thank you for sharing your heart. I know how that first summer feels. I am so terribly sorry.



    These words are so beautiful and heartfelt. I have t seen you for a while. I’m sure you’re still grieving. That kind of pain may never entirely fade, but such lovely imagery and the magnificence of the eagles soaring and playing was maybe Hope from God that you will all be reunited in paradise someday. And it’s OK to cry. It helps to cleanse with their release. I know your faith will be rewarded some day. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

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