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  Skeetlin's Garden - Beginnings

This is a story of an ending, and a beginning. I invite you to follow this journey of years—a transformation of a piece of simple earth into a sacred circle, a sanctuary for the soul, the resting place of a beloved friend.

Skeetlin's tree

It begins with a willow tree, not much more than a twig, in June of 2002. Beneath it, I bury Skeetlin, my feline soul-mate of sixteen years.

Skeetlin

As I step up to pay for the wobbly sapling, I notice two pussy willows in gallon containers. Although the "garden specialist" at the place assures me they areren't pussy willows, I know better. They stand guard on either side of my beloved friend. They've blossomed out with silvery grey catkins (Wee Willow Toes) every year since. I place a small ring of stones around the tree, and light a candle beneath it for 16 nights after his passing.

I want to give my Willow (Skeetlin's official name) a grand garden with a pond, like the one he loved so much when we lived in Arden, DE. I start digging, but don't get much further than this odd rectangle of earth. It quickly becomes a weedy mudhole, and we spend the summer mowing around it while I try to come up with a better plan.

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