I went to the cafeteria of the hospital to get a cup of tea. It was a bonus late-October warm sunny day and I stepped out onto the patio, my mind full of concern for my daughter who had gone in for a simple procedure and had subsequently experienced such excruciating pain she agreed to have an injection of morphine. She had vowed never to accept morphine again and had rejected it this time, instead opting for Tylenol with Codeine. When the pain did not diminish and after several more offerings of the drug, she finally relented and had dozed off.
I ambled the spacious patio grounds, admiring and appreciating the perfect blooms of pampas grass waving in a soft breeze. The tall stately clusters stood among a few palm trees. Vancouver’s climate is moderate oceanic and it is always a delight to see tropical trees growing here. I strolled the perimeter and was perhaps a third of the way around before it finally struck me that something was odd. I was staring down into an herb garden! My gaze went back to the previous planter and I realized what had caught my eye. Ripening cherry tomatoes were spilling down the wall. I strode all the way back and discovered the entire perimeter was filled with planters of herbs and vegetables. Beets and chard nestled up against chives and onions. Zucchini meandered around carrots and the odd flower. Mostly of course there were healthy herbs and root vegetables, but peas were growing amongst everbearing strawberries.
I had been on that patio plenty of times and had never noticed it was planted with edibles. I stayed around for another half hour or so and just enjoyed the wonder of finding such an urban oasis attached to a hospital cafeteria. What they do with all the produce is a mystery, but it was clearly lovingly tended. Could it be that they actually use fresh herbs and veggies in the kitchen?
Just as I returned to my daughter’s room, the head Doc walked in and asked how she was. Refreshed now and still under the influence she said, “You told me about the pain but you didn’t say it was going to be so severe.” He smiled and said if they did no one would ever go through it. We chuckled because we had said the very same thing prior to her nodding off.
And of course, though she went through a couple of rough days, she has bounced back to her usual cheery self. Life is so very full of wonder...
Also posted to the Red Room