One foot hangs over the edge of the hammock. The ends of the netting are too close together, so the whole contraption droops, barely clearing the ground. Nevertheless, this situation seems perfectly engineered for pushing the swing back and forth with the least amount of foot-power, allowing my fingertips to brush gently back and forth over the bright, emerald grass.

I'll soon be treading on a carpet of astilbe, strawberries and hollyhocksFor some reason everything in my tiny garden is a brilliant green this year, in spite of a Stage Three drought in June. My raspberries have produced a bumper crop. I can't pick them fast enough, and some are literally falling, overripe, off the vine. My roses had very little black spots and bloomed profusely in spring, with hardly a Japanese beetle in sight. Five water lilies are blooming in my little pond. I was lucky to get one last year.

"Volunteers" (plants which come up on their own) push life through cracks and in between stepping stones, and if I don't do something, I'll soon be treading on a carpet of astilbe, strawberries and hollyhocks. This year, a hydrangea bush, which had never bloomed before (no matter what I did to it), produced huge blooms of a particularly deep reddish color. I have never seen a hydrangea so beautiful outside of a hothouse. At the other end of the garden, I can't help walking on sprigs of lavender when I pass by, filling the yard with olfactory delights. Tonight, the aroma of my favorite flower, the gardenia, will fill the evening air and remind me of midnight walks down ancient loggias under full moons.

Last year I bought an unlabeled plant from a garden center. I thought it was a low growing kin to mint or catnip. Today, my mystery plants are four feet tall, and I know them to be cone flowers. They draw bumble bees. Watching the bees traveling from bloom to bloom seems to bring even more sunshine into my garden. When I walk near them, they fly away, as if they know the unstable balance left over from my illness won't allow me to judge where I'm walking very well. A month ago, early on cool mornings, I could have gone outside to find one or two of these fat, fuzzy fellows clinging underneath a leaf in a sleepy stupor. If it had been cool enough, I could have played a trick on him and transferred him to another leaf with my bare hands before he woke up. Would he wonder how he awakened in another bed while he had been dreaming of nectar?

The sun warms my face while I doze. From far away, carried on these dreamy breezes, I catch the odor of myrrh and spikenard. My fingers stir, and I reach to touch clusters of henna-flowers. I see misty glimpses of Rose of Sharon. Music is carried over the molten air, and I hear holy words: "Behold, the winter has passed; the rain is over and gone. The blossoms have appeared in the land, the time of singing has arrived and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land." Serenity and peace are everywhere.

I thought redemption was really here — nowA semi-trailer roars by, and I am startled awake, jerking, looking around for the figs and fragrant grape vines that were in my very hands but moments ago. I find none. I thought redemption was really here — now. A single tear escapes, and a little bit of my heart breaks. I can't help it. It was such a good dream.

And "here's the rub." While we are commanded to believe in the coming of the redemption (this belief is one of the Rambam's – a tremendous Torah scholar and philosopher - thirteen principles of faith), and to eagerly look for him, the waiting seems long and troublesome, and outside of our dreams, the concepts seem difficult. Who is this redeemer, and when will he come, we think. "The vision is yet for an appointed time," says Habakkuk, "but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though he tarry wait for him, for it will surely come …it will not be late!" Nevertheless, why doesn't he come now, I think, and end my pain and the sorrow of others in our world? Why, why, why? As is typical, I seem to have only questions to ask G‑d.

Yet, Isaiah says "Happy are all those that wait for him," so this process must surely be associated with ultimate joy. Other sages encouraged us to get busy while we wait, cleaning up our inner lives and outer worlds, increasing the amount of good deeds, mitzvot, we do. Look inward, to change our hearts. Look outward to change the world, especially the eradication of lashon hora - slanderous talk - which got us expelled from the Temple and our Land in the first place. With that perspective, I know I'm not as ready as I ought to be.

I crawl out of the hammock and put it away for a later day. In a short while, my garden will be wilting, tortured by the impending cold. But in the end it will survive, and so will I. For now, I purpose to be happy awaiting the future, whatever it holds. After all, I still have work to do. I want to change my world into a Garden.