In finding a creative way to move a statue to her Mary Garden, Jennifer Thomas considered the importance of presence over perfection.
I've wanted to create a Mary Garden in our backyard for quite some time. There's a perfect corner that gets plenty of sunlight and is already perfectly sized. There used to be a wooden deck that my husband and I recently demolished, and I began to focus on making my dream of a Mary Garden a reality.
Knowing my desire to eventually create my garden, my sister-in-law was gracious enough to buy a statue for me last summer. After a 3-hour drive in the back of my car, Mary was placed in our garage, where she sat for the remainder of summer, fall, and winter. I actually got used to seeing her there, as if greeting us as we pulled into the garage.
I spent quite a bit of time researching what to plant, where to plant what, and, most importantly, Mary’s location.
Is she supposed to face the house? Toward the sunrise or sunset? Are there certain flowers that should be planted near her, in her garden to make it a true Mary Garden? What about a bench? Or a kneeler in front of her, maybe?
I found myself getting caught up in so many little details to the point that I felt like I couldn't move Mary to her final place until I figured everything out.
During my children's recent spring break, I couldn't take it anymore and decided that day, Mary would be taken to her new home. What I didn't think about was her weight. A statue made of concrete? I'm strong, I've got this ...
I could barely budge her.
I managed to shimmy her to the front of the garage as one of my children drove up in their green car. You know, one of those electric ones for kids.
And it hit me.
I asked my youngest to step out of the car and decided THIS was how I was going to get Mary down the hill in the backyard to her new home. I was driving Miss Mary.
As I drove her, the kids cheered me on and thought it was the coolest thing to me a statue of Mary through our backyard. I'm sure I exceeded the weight limit of that poor car—but I was determined.
After finally getting Mary out of the car and settled, I realized it doesn't matter what I plant, how she faces, or the fact that my Mary Garden isn't perfect. God doesn't expect us to be perfect. He finds beauty in each and every one of us, despite our imperfections. He still loves us. He never leaves us. So, as I look out into our backyard and see Mary in her new home, it doesn't matter that it's not perfect yet and likely never will be perfect. What's important is that she's always there now, as God our Father is always there for us.
Copyright 2022 Jennifer Thomas
Images: copyright 2022 Jennifer Thomas, all rights reserved.
About the Author
As a Catholic wife and mom to three children, Jennifer earned her masters degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and recently reverted back to her Catholic faith. Jennifer is an avid stationery enthusiast who enjoys finding unique and beautiful stationery to send to her friends and family. She also enjoys researching ways to instill Catholic traditions within her family while finishing her first book.