This year, we’ve had the time of our lives, happily surviving several
frost-filled nights and putting forth more blooms than ever before. As the days grow warmer, the time will soon come when we must say goodbye.
When our blooms are gone, what will be left are quiet remembrances of our beauty. Our odd-shaped seedheads will linger for a time before disappearing, while our reddish-tinged, liver-shaped leaves will remain healthy all summer long. That’s because we are partially shaded by trees and plants.
We like to think that we are still noticed in the garden all summer long though, even if our sunny buttercup-like blooms have become distant memories. Sometimes we fancy that the gardener is smiling fondly upon us. We watch and we listen to the world unfolding around us.
There are now five clumps of us (Liverlilies – Hepatica nobilis)
in two different places in the garden. Each spring we race to see who
will be the first to toss up blooms. Every year, the eldest of us wins, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. We are ever hopeful.
A long time ago, it was thought that we played a role in curing liver ailments. Just because our three-lobed leaves were thought to resemble human livers does not mean that we had any special healing powers. Now we are mostly left in peace in gardens and also in the wild places we still inhabit.
The thing about gardens is that everyone thinks they go on growing, that in winter they sleep and in spring they rise. But it’s more that they die and return, die and return. They lose themselves. They haunt themselves.
Every story is a story about death. But perhaps, if we are lucky, our story about death is also a story about love.
And this is what I have remembered of love. (Helen Humphreys, The Lost Garden)