It was now April 1995, and spring had finally arrived in Hetzerath, Germany – and Easter was fast approaching.
We had a long private driveway that we shared with the ground floor apartment that was under a portion of the house we had rented in Hetzerath.
I spent the winter pruning away the dead growth in the garden – beyond our front staircase in this picture – and prepared everything else to get off to a good start in the spring growing season.
We had just purchase our 1994 Honda Accord Coupe in the fall of 1994, and here it is parked in our driveway in front of the ground floor apartment under our portion of the house.
The fact that I still drive this Honda Accord Coupe daily to work 16 years – and 155,580 miles later – is a testament to the high quality of Honda engineering.
The circular flower garden at the base of our tree in the driveway shows the familiar signs of spring – flowers in full bloom.
The tree eagerly grows new leaves as it reaches towards the sky, ready to convert the light and warmth of the sun into energy and new growth.
Spring is a time when new life returns to the garden and the forest – a perfect compliment to the Easter message of New Life in Christ.
Trees and plants that lay dormant all winter react to the light and warmth of the sun, responding as if on que to a symphony that we humans often can no longer hear called, “An Ode to Spring.”
What I like the most about this picture – besides the colorful flowers in bloom – is the crisp shadow and outline of the tree on the pavement, which would be a nice image for a graphic artist to incorporate into a design.
During the course of the winter I had pruned back the garden, clearing the pathways of overgrowth and bringing order back into the garden so one could walk through it in full appreciation of the various plants and flowers within it.
An untended garden becomes a sprawl of overgrowth and neglect – inviting weeds and chaos within its boundaries – responding negatively to the lack of oversight and discipline, in a similar manner as the rest of our lives are subject to.
A pruned garden responds to the gardener’s touch with invigorated growth that is more vibrant than if it were left to sprawl in all directions without pruning.
Our front garden was tiered in the same manner as our front steps were, with paths crossing the garden at the base and along the mid-point, creating a private garden leading up to the long terrace that overlooked the front of the house off the living and dining rooms.
Spring is such a vibrant time of year, with new growth and colorful flowers mixing with tender new green shoots that all reach for the growing warmth of the sun.
There is a connection between a gardener and the land – a respect for the smallest plant and the largest tree – and the knowledge that we are all connected to each other and the land, and responsible for protecting all living things in our beautiful world.
Our front door shows the blessing in chalk that was inscribed on January 6th, which is Epiphany or “Three Kings Day” – when children called Star Singers or “Sternsinger” bless the house in song and accept donations for a good cause.
This topiary has a spread of pale yellow flowers growing beneath it – while displaying the white bows that my wife made for the occasion of David’s First Holy Communion.
This topiary sits in the shade just a short distance from the bright sunshine of spring – with my shadow indicating the direction of the sun as I was taking this picture.
The old fashioned lanterns add a touch of the Old World to the garden in front of what was a very contemporary house – in an interesting study of contrasts.
From our terrace perched above the front garden, it feels like the terrace is floating in the tree tops – as the land slopes away dramatically from the edge of the terrace.
With sweeping 180 degree southern views of the area around Hetzerath, our terrace was a nice location to sit and take in the views.
We used to BBQ here on the terrace just off the dining room, and life in those days was pretty good to our family.
Easter was just around the corner and David was soon going to have his First Holy Communion – so our house was about to fill up as we invited the entire family to share in the occasion.