Gardens & Dementia

Dallas Arb1Cookie and I visited Jen & Peter in Lewisville last weekend, and hung out with our grandkids, Ari and Will.  We visited the Dallas Arboretum while we were there, and I immediately fell in love with it.  The flowers were spectacular, the weather was sunny and warm, and the kids got a whole lot of exercise.  What more can you ask for?

I have been in a number of arboretums over the years, but this one rose to the top of my list.  It was immaculate.  Built on a lake, the gardens are extensive and beautiful.  There are a number of fountains to water the kids with, and Ari and Will made good use of them!  There was even a good-sized terrace of grass to relax on, and I swear the lawn  was equal to the lawns of Wisconsin.

As we walked through the various garden areas, there were people from many different countries doing the same with their families.  Conversations were going on in a number of languages, as people walked through the gardens wearing a virtual rainbow of colors.  And though the place was pretty much packed, everyone seemed to be enjoying the day, and getting along with one another.  Gardens can be so refreshing!20180324_141259 (2)

I have to confess, I was happy to be away from the never-ending political nonsense, even if it was just for a few hours.  I found myself thinking of Jesus, walking in the garden of Gethsemane at night, knowing he’d soon be arrested.  Surely, he must have been thinking of the irony of his being arrested, and cuffed in the midst of a beautiful garden.

And yet, things do die in gardens.  The spring flowers die as the summer temperatures rise and the new sun-loving flowers appear.  The flowers that die return to the earth, compost for a new generation.  It has been said that nature wastes nothing, and I believe that is true.  I also believe in the resurrection of Jesus, and his exit from the cold, empty tomb.

I think of these things when I walk through a garden.  Sooner or later, the lovely flowers will die, but their death, as always, will lead to new life.  I also believe Jesus was a heck of a teacher and that his voice speaks to us still.


Jesus said to his friend Lazarus, “Lazarus, come out of your tomb.”  Friends, there are many kinds of tombs, and they’re not all in graveyards.  Come out of your tomb, and take a walk in a garden.  See the beauty that arises from death.  In the gardens of the world, there are both flowers, and people, of color.  Knowing this is to understand the eternal power of Easter.  This is the heart of the message of Easter, that Christ conquered the power of death, and has come to bring life to all people, whatever their color might be.

A Blessed Easter to you, and your gardens,

Fr Dave


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