The Garden Gate


Part One: Tarot card of the day

Oh how I love stone walls and garden gates!

This beautiful image comes from The Herbcrafter’s Tarot. It’s written by Latisha Guthrie and the artwork is created by Joanna Powell Colbert. I’m proud to call these two wise women my friends. It’s been my honor to circle with them and I hope to be able to do so again.

Latisha poses the question, “Are you feeling fenced in by the circumstances of your life? Staying isolated may seem safe, but like this garden, it could become a prison of your own making.”

Timely, yes? My husband and I were living a quiet, retired life before the virus hit the US. We live in a rural area so the number of cases remains low – so far. We are choosing to isolate in order to keep ourselves and others healthy. At the same time I’m reaching out to family and friends through texts, phone calls and Zooms. In some ways I feel busier than before.

Unfortunately not everyone has the resources to cope with the financial stress and emotional strain caused by staying home. I’m acutely aware of what’s going on in the rest of the world. The challenge for all of us is to manage anxiety and fear.

What helps me cope is practicing the Four Immeasurables:  lovingkindness and compassion, joy and equanimity. Some days are better than others.

Don’t let foreboding, distress or panic get the best of you. Take it one day at a time. Pray, meditate, make art, journal, walk, talk to someone.



Part Two: Great-grandmother’s Garden Gate

This is a watercolor painted by my maternal great-grandmother, Catherine Little Turney. She was born on August 12, 1866 and died on April 16, 1948. I never knew her but I always loved this little painting. That’s my shadow superimposed on the glass. I’m feeling our lineage now stronger than ever.

Here she is as a young woman. And as a mother. My grandfather, Hugh, is on the left. His brother, Bill, on the right.










I look at these pictures and wonder what she was really like, what was in her heart. I won’t ever know. I had the opportunity to talk to my 91 year old mother today. She said Nanny Turney lived with her family for a few years towards the end of her life but can’t remember much about her. Our family was never one for telling stories or keeping memories alive.

When I look at her painting of the gate, though, I think we have some things in common. Love for nature, birds and trees. Perhaps she enjoyed the mystery of what was beyond the gate. Maybe she knew very well. She lived through two world wars and the depression.

I wish we could have a cup of tea and get to know each other.


Part Three: Beyond the Gate

What’s growing inside your garden gate?

What’s out there for you right now?

Do you feel imprisoned? Or do you have a sense of freedom from the usual routines?

How are you coping?

What do you need?

Feel free to leave a comment or message me. I genuinely care.




  1. Joni on March 30, 2020 at 10:10 pm

    I found this post thought provoking. I feel fortunate that we can cope financially but all the unknowns of the current situation are scary. I like staying home but don’t like to fear going out. Your post is a good reminder to keep a good attitude and practice lovingkindness.

  2. Loran Hills on March 30, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    There are so many feelings around all of this. It does take a conscious effort to work on keeping a good attitude.

  3. Ann Terrell on April 1, 2020 at 11:09 am

    I love your post and all of what you wrote about. I love your mind and I love and miss you. Ann Terrell

    • Loran Hills on April 1, 2020 at 11:18 am

      Oh thank you so much Ann! That really means a lot to me. Miss you too!!

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