Garden of Green Fables

Our garden tells the story. Our bright yellow shed. The way we approach each new spring. How we laugh together.

It’s been seven years of marriage.

We wear our ugly crocs and go out in the garden in the evening after our children go to bed. He waters. I trim roses. We admire our tiny bursting sunflowers every day. In awe at how they’ve grown.

We walk on the garden path of stones, almost completed. I pick up our little boy’s toys all over the garden. Our two plastic hand-me-down chairs sit side by side tilted on the grassy hillside. We make plans for the rose bed. Note the new growth on our daughter’s rose bush. It’s a story we’re living in exploding color.

And I celebrate seven years with the poem I wrote for Hope Gives a Eulogy. Because this story which the garden tells and our laughter accompanies, began years ago when in our earlier youth we stumbled through the graveyard, harsh reality nipping at our heels.

From the grave the garden grew and our love deeper with it.


Happy people live here.

Bright yellow, light blue,

Big parties, belly laughter,

And year-round Christmas lights.

Happy people live here

Even after the music box

Abruptly changed its tune.

Happy people live here.

Making up magic and merriness,

Composing a new anthem

For easily missed things

Too big to fit in a box.

Happy people, the happiest

They gave a backbone to 


While harsh realities nipped at our heels we cultivated life with our fingertips. Side by side. Until the bright yellow on the walls became the bright yellow in our laughter and the music box got swallowed by the music of a garden that keeps on growing.

We pass through the garden gate made of splintered scraps of wood, and close it for the night. We walk by the sunflowers, step into our home, children sleeping soundly.

Indeed, it has been happy.

A grave. A garden. A dying, living, growing thing.

Indeed, it is us wrapped in seven years of love.

A story hard-won.


It’s a Sunday. I take impromptu photos of my kids on a colorful baby quilt from last spring when our daughter was a newborn. It’s almost her first birthday. And the sheer life of it all—

Well, I have no words.

I’ve been feeling the passage of time more keenly than ever. I love watching them grow. And I’m overwhelmed by it too. The photos make us a few minutes late to church. Worth it. On the way, I mention my wanting to name the garden. It’s been on my mind for the better part of a year. All I’d come up with comfortably was Story Garden, because so many stories have happened within it.

Ben casually suggests a name I can’t get over. How did he come up with it so fast? It’s perfect. A play on words. I even walked down the aisle to Anne’s Theme. Our wedding video montage begins with that beautiful song. I love how L.M. Montgomery writes about growing up, the passage of time. That aside, I’ve been writing stories and poems about my life as told by the roses, the flower bed, and the garden itself. I’ve been observing its bloom and joy. And my own. I have seen the garden as a picture of my soul. I am essentially writing my life story with a garden. Ben and I are living so many life & love stories within this garden. Our kids, too. All of us playing, growing, being.

So, more than halfway into our 8th year of marriage, we finally have a name for our garden—

Garden of Green Fables
ben & sierra

est 2015

It’s sunny today. We bumble through the parking lot like a parade of sorts. We sing songs of worship to our God. Our son belts out his own version. We herd them into nursery. It’s a cheerful time. There’s grocery shopping and bologna. Crumbs everywhere. Our daughter falls asleep so she won’t nap anymore that afternoon. (We tried.) Ben digs the hole deeper for one of our fruit trees. The plum one, last I knew. Shasta throws his bright yellow boots in the hole, and I only know this because when I lift the window to holler “Dinner is almost ready!” Shasta is proud to tell me about forgoing his boots. White socks, by the way.

Plum tree and poetry will have to wait.

It’s dinnertime.

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