This week I have been mourning the passing of a friend who lost her battle with cancer. On learning the news yesterday evening, I went out into my garden and sat in the dark for several hours, watching the stars. It was an instinct to go to that haven for comfort and reassurance — reassurance that the world is still vast and beautiful and alive, that we are but one small part of it, that it will go on even when we individual humans cease to exist.

There is something curiously peaceful about the night sky, the moon and stars, the rhythmic chirping of insects, the anonymity of sitting in the dark. Maybe the vastness of it overwhelms individual emotions, or dims them for a time.


The view from my garden isn’t quite this amazing, but I am grateful to live in an area from which I can still see the stars on a clear night. Photo by Alex Grichenko,

I am deeply thankful to have a place in which I can spend time processing the heartbreak of death, as well as spending time appreciating the diverse fascinations of life.

I wish for you all a haven in which you can take comfort when you need it, in which your primitive heart can connect with wild nature. To me, this is one of the most powerful arguments for making a garden.