Autumn in a Garden

“An evolution of color fills
The spaces made green
Under original creation.
Red sun veiled silver.

In a moment, we will
be closer, in a moment the question is answered
by a death. It floats down, brushing my hand swirling
a slight fog.

You lost your father
in a dream just yesterday,
Saw him crawl with his face
In the dirt and the night
suck him up and away.”

———- Ken Sonnenberg

Harvest Moon

A Garden of Her Own

Photography by Barbara Mattio

I confess the title is a twist on Virginia Woolf’s A Room of Her Own. However, times have changed a lot since the days when Woolf was writing. In Woolf’s time, there was still the concept of a woman having a room where she took care of no one else and could peruse the few things in life considered appropriate for young ladies and women.  It as also a world where we were wearing corsets and breathing was a skill and swooning was the inability of the lungs to acquire the proper amount of oxygen. This also made physical exercise beyond a sedate walk quite an impossibility. So times have changed and we have changed.

The media has, of course, changed much of what happened in the 1970’s. A time came when we, who were feminists were called FemiNazis because we were expected to line up and get in our places. Being a feminist became something that some no longer wanted to admit. We had made a difference, so it was no big deal. Many people spoke up that we can accomplish everything we needed as women.

It is now the twenty-first century.  With the signing of President Obama’s equal pay law, women now will make $0.77 for every dollar a man makes for equal work. In the 1970”’s, we made $0.67 for every dollar a man made.

We worked to give women choices in the 1970’s. Many women stayed home with the children then. Many thought they were slowly losing their minds. A book called The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan came out and changed the prospects of American women. It was, for me an” aha! ” moment. Women were capable and many wanted choices. To stay home with your children, to go into the workplace, or to do both. Over the years, big business has made it almost an impossibility not to have two family incomes. So we don’t really now have the choices we worked for.

The grassroots movement against Domestic Violence began in the 1970’s and many women were able to seek legal recourse, to receive counseling, have a support system that let her start again where she and her children would be safe. We used educational programs and training for educating local police departments on how to safely answer a Domestic Violence call. Historically, more officers are injured answering a Domestic call that any other type of call.
In the twenty-first century, Domestic Violence is on the rise. FBI stats document this fact. Young women don’t understand Domestic Violence and don’t realize that when they are pushed, shoved, kicked, slapped, humiliated or even called demeaning names they are victims of Domestic Violence.

We are once again fighting for the ability to control our own bodies. They are after all, ours. We and our bodies have become a pawn in national politics and this fact is so distressing. Congress wants to be able to tell us when we can go to a doctor and when we can have procedures. They even want to be able to tell us when to have procedures.

So, we all need a room or a garden of our own. I think of my daughters and I know that they are not wearing corsets but between the demands of running a home, having a career (for those who have chosen this path), and children and husbands, they need some space for themselves. I believe that we all need the room and a garden of one’s own can be a fragrant, colorful, non-political place to breathe, be true to yourself, make decisions, and give hurried, pressured lives a time of rest and relaxation. I encourage you to try it. It also is a soothing balm for the soul.

Photography by Barbara MattioPhotography by Barbara Mattio

The Garden of Life

needlework by Barbara Mattio

Needlework by Barbara Mattio


I was just out in my garden. It is very warm and I was doing some deadheading, turning pots to the sun. I filled my lungs with the fragrance of the flowers and my eyes with their beautiful color. I could feel the energy emanating from the trees and was filled with contentment. The gardens of our lives are like this. They need attention and some work. We need to keep our lives fertilized and trimmed. We need to stop in the presence of the Divine and communicate as a child of the Universe. Negativity needs to be removed from our lives and we need to remember that thoughts have energy and try very hard not to add to the hatred and violence in the world. We need to laugh and enjoy the relationship we have with the Divine. So visit your garden or park and spend some time with God.


I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the
earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
and lifts her leafy areas to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear a nest
of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
who lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
but only God can make a tree.
—Joyce Kilmer


Photography by Barbara Mattio

Photography by Barbara Mattio

Summer days and Sunday afternoons

Photo by Barbara MattioToday was a day to be in touch with Divinity and my inner creativity. I have begun a new painting and I love painting on my front porch as the world goes by. It felt so good to have my brushes in my hands again. I have had a year off from painting because of an injury and a torn bicep muscle and impinged shoulder. Having recovered from surgery and PT I am once again at the easel.

But today was also about my small by pretty garden and the fragrance of the flowers and watching the growth of old favorites and being close to Mother Earth. I am grateful for such a wonderful day and time in my life. So I will let my photographs tell the rest of the story.

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Photo by Barbara Mattio.