My mother, Irene Brazier (1922-2004), was a lover of gardens. In her life she made many and admired many more. She believed in the harmony that arises when people work in co-operation with natural forces. She was a practical woman. Work was important. One of her favorite sayings was "You are closer to God in a garden than anywhere else on earth".

She was a believer yet in a non-dogmatic way. She could be at home in any temple or shrine. Her real religion was beauty and peace. She had adages for all occasions, many of them drawn from the Bible - blessed are the peacemakers - but also saw the ironies of life - many hands make light work yet too many cooks spoil the broth. She practised yoga, lived her later years in a Buddhist community and attended the Church of England and whatever other services were convenient. She was buried in a natural graveyard and liked the idea that a tree would one day grow above her remains.

She loved poetry, especially of the traditional sort, and had me learn many verses when I was young, which was an excellent way of imbuing me with some civilised values in a non-dogmatic and open-minded manner. Poetry expresses the Muse without having to be consistent in all respects, encourages reflection and creative composition.

She also liked a good party, dressing up and enjoying the fruits of life. She taught me games and enjoyed play. She was also a talented amateur stage actress and acted in and produced many performances. She was simultaneously a fun loving worldly wise woman who knew her own mind and a person of peace, friendship and kindness who appreciated spiritual paths and saw their commonality. She had learnt from all manner of people in the course of her life and became the kind of person that all people wanted to talk to and enjoy being with.

She was my first great teacher.

Last updated by David Brazier Nov 28, 2017.

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