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The Crack in Venus

Things aren’t meant to be perpetually perfect. There’s something wonderfully real in imperfection, and we should remember to use that instead of looking only for the full bloom.”- Leonard Tharp, floral designer

There is a crack in Venus and she’s bleached white from the Arizona sun. She’s at least a dozen years old. Quite a few years ago, she took a tumble from her pedestal during a monsoon storm. Recently, I was going to replace her with a solid concrete 250 pound Venus but I can’t. Why?

Is it because she heard the murmurings and laughter when my mom and I were in the garden planting yet another rose? Or because she has stood sentinel over those roses all these years? She keeps mom company in the garden when I am not there. At least, I like to think so.

It brings me comfort to look out my kitchen window every morning and see her. Beckoning to me, ‘come join me here in the garden. It’s a lovely morning.’

She’s privy to my private ramblings, thoughts I don’t share with anyone. Cringes as my shoulders quake with sorrow wracking my soul. Listens to my laughter when I take delight in a new bloom. Or a seed sprouting forth.

Venus overheard the countless discussions Pete and I had while digging the ill-fated koi pond. Under a Mesquite tree, no less. Drama, to say the least. It’s one we talk about even today. Joking, if our marriage survived the building of the Koi pond, it can survive anything.

Eavesdropping on our private conversations about life and love. Our dreams for the future, and our regrets of the past. How blessed we are.

The Goddess of Love endures the conquering warrior Ra that shows no mercy. Relentless in his quest to shine and be the victor over her and the plants that struggle in his presence. Love wins.

She presides over late September anniversary dinners in the garden. The ethereal light from the flickering candles. The only music the sounds of the male cicadas calling for  a female mate. Our whispers of loving forever. How fortunate we are.

The enchantress enjoys wine and appetizers with us served in the spring and fall, when the cool air brushes over our skin like gossamer. Boursin cheese slathered on crackers and topped with a crispy slice of radish. Lastly, fresh cracked black pepper to complete the feast. Divine.

She’s watched countless evolutions of the garden. ‘Let’s move this, let’s change that.’ She is always there, no matter the changes.

Witnessed the miracle of metamorphosis as it unfolds. Butterflies keep her company; caterpillars caress her skin.

She’s heard my humble prayers to God, Buddha, and the Madonna. She sees the Tibetan prayer flags float in the slightest breeze as they carry my prayers to the heavens. Entreats to the powers that be to answer them. Knows my deepest secrets and my yearnings. How I long to make a difference in the world in some way. That my writing may indeed be the path. Feels the weight of my gratefulness.

Venus is silent, yet her presence is impressive.
She understands me and I her. We have something exceptional in common.

You see, those many years ago when she took a tumble, Pete was the one who put her back together. He meticulously patched her up. Put some of her broken pieces back in their rightful place. Lovingly, he restored her and while she is not whole and cannot ever be, she stands. Her foundation is solid because of his love. Beautifully scarred, invincible. Grateful.

Which is exactly what he did for me.


Linda Lee Lyberg



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