Peace on earth for me lies a few scant steps from my back porch door and within the five acres that surround a two-story dusty rose farmhouse perched beside the Methow River in northern Washington.
Harold and I had been married barely three years when I bought this property on a whim and without his knowledge. He wasn't real happy. In fact, it took two days before he would even speak to me.
We were both gardeners. All organic. We grew mostly for the farmers' market and occasionally for a restaurant or lodge. One acre became an asparagus field and another two became a massive garden.
When the snow is deep and the temperature hovers around zero, I invite all the people that I supply for dinner. Somewhere around dessert we haul out the seed catalogs and start ordering. I will try to grow anything they want. They in turn must buy whatever I grow for them.
I know true peace when I stand in a garden that large. The energy is beyond description. The neat rows of raspberries, strawberries, honeyberries, currants, gooseberries and tayberries march east to west. In peak season there are onions, garlic, beets, carrots, eggplant, chives, potatoes, basil, tomatoes, melons, cantaloupe, corn and Swiss chard. Even edible flowers. It just seems that everything is right with the world out there — a little slice of heaven surrounded by deer fencing. I can almost feel the angels flitting among the sunflowers.
Harold has been gone not yet a year. I miss him beyond belief, but I know where we can briefly touch again. It's somewhere out there around the endive.
Judy Brezina is a reader from Carlton, Wash.