Last week I finally found the perfect Blessed Mother statue for my back yard at a landscaping store not far from my home. She now stands serenely, twenty-four inches tall, nestled amid my rose bushes. I can see her through my kitchen window, every morning with my coffee, and when the sun sets, casting a soft glow upon her.
I had been somewhat randomly looking around for a few years, but couldn’t find the ‘right’ one that met my needs. The statues were either unsettling to me (I called them ‘scary Marys’), with facial expressions too intense, or the colors too garish (Mary wearing heavy makeup?).
I also didn’t want ‘Mary on the half shell’ (as I’ve heard people jokingly refer to it), where she stands under an arch. She also had to be looking downward toward her children (us), who need her most, not upward to heaven.
Her clothing had to be plain and simple, not royal garb, her head adorned with a crown. Lastly, only a peaceful, soothing expression on her face would do (not a suffering one).
In my quest for my garden Mary, I came to realize that I was seeking to re-create a vision that reflects the way I experience Mary in my daily life and prayers.
She is gentle and nurturing, but strong in her faith and her actions. She speaks words of comfort during turbulent times, reassuring me that all will be well, in time, if I trust God. She radiates an inner peace that can only flourish by recognizing and accepting God’s grace. She is willing to face great obstacles with courage, to share that grace with those who seek her Son. She is my mother, and my friend.
Her presence in my garden is there so I can be reminded every day, of the woman I want to be.
- Have you created a spiritual space in your yard or garden? Share it with us!
- Is it a place of prayer, or just rest and quiet?
- What makes it special for you?
For some great ideas for planting a ‘Mary Garden’, check this out at the National Catholic Register.