In Memory of Hans Rhenisch, Gardener, 1932-2017

Hansel in 1935

It begins with a grandfather taking a boy out into the garden. Then comes eight decades (and a bit more) of working with the earth to keep that moment alive. Such energy along the way!

Hans Throwing Hay in the Black Forest, 1947

Then we say good-bye and take up the flame. Aufwiedersehen, Vater. Hello.

Thanks for taking me out into the orchard.


And thanks for all the kale and the gift of stories.

Love, Harold

9 replies »

  1. Dear Harold, It is lovely to see the photos of your Father Hansel, and hear of the love of gardening he shared with you. I appreciate your lovely tribute to him, and the tribute your own life and work is, to his ongoing spirit. My father farmed thoughtfully, and my mother planted big gardens, when we lived on the prairies in SE Saskatchewan, and I appreciate how they shared the knowledge of the land, and of how to care for plants, that their people shared with them- we enjoyed the fruits of their labours ( and learned about patience and observation and nurturing too). My mother-in-law was a natural gardener, who could grow plums and apricots right from their pit, in chilly Edmonton.I continue to learn from their example- they would have appreciated your father’s love of the land, and of growing, and your own. Sending you, and your father, caring thoughts in this turning of a season.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so sorry for your loss, Harold. Your photos of your father tell something of his story but I know that you carry so much more of it in your heart. My own experience of losing my father and mother in recent years is that they have a presence in my life now that is different from the way they were present when they were alive. In their last years my thoughts of them were shaped largely by practical anxieties about their welfare. Now I miss them, especially that special privilege of simply being able to tell them things, but now their presence always seems to convey a sense of blessing, of continuity, of having been given something that I have a duty to pass on, and (despite all their faults!) a sense of gratitude that seems to grow rather than diminish. They did their best and now I must do mine.

    Liked by 1 person

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