Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Until Then, I Have Enough

Nothing is perfect here yet.  I have ideas and energy to give them shape.  But it takes time.  Time to plan, time to plant, time to turn the leaves and lawn clippings into compost, time to consider water in a dry land, time to let things fill in.  I want intriguing pathways and inviting places to sit – or at least places that would make you imagine we actually sit in the garden.  I want all the interest we’re supposed to have: evergreen structure for the barren winter; pops of color for the heralding of spring; interesting bark, variegated foliage, and shade from summer’s wrath; and heartbreaking, nostalgic color in autumn.  I want a sunny patch of fertile soil for the pleasure of contributing praise-worthy tomatoes to our dinner.  And I want a rock, half buried in the shadowy ground, covered in moss.

I think I will have these things someday.  Or, at least, I will have some of these things some days.  Until those days though, I will remember that I have enough.  I will remember that some day I will want nothing more than what I had today. 

The light from the setting sun gave me pause.  A bright, quiet moment to be savored.

The scent of jasmine, finally climbing the arbor with vigor, was intoxicating.

I live within driving distance of the Napa Valley, aka "Wine Country".  I was pleased to see grapes
already growing on this vine in the ground less than a month. 

Birdhouse and suet created at a birthday party . . . more for us than the birds.

It looks like she's running from the camera but she's really just chasing
her new dog, Gus.  Her laughter and his tiny yips fill the evening with
innocence and my heart with gratitude.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nightmare Trees

I used to think that my old neighbor’s Washingtonia Robusta was a nightmare tree.  Anything that wakes you up with a start more than once or twice can start to torment you and that cursed tree would wake me up whenever the wind would blow.  Those fronds are large and heavy and would sound like someone jumping onto the roof. 

But I have new perspective on what truly constitutes a nightmare tree, courtesy of photographer Elido Turco who uses a mirror to create these images.  Take a gander at his Flickr album of 200+ pictures of trees guaranteed to make you take a closer look at those old trees you thought were simply lovely before.  Now you know they're really just waiting for you to fall asleep before they do their unspeakable deeds.

Credit goes to the blog 22 Words for ruining tonight's sleep.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

In a word

What word comes to mind when you think of spring?  For those of us that spend our free time in the yard, tending a garden, or wandering the aisles of the nursery, I'm sure that there are hundreds of words that could spring to mind depending upon your mood.  Whether it's the name of an iconic flower like the tulip, or perhaps it's the name of the first bird that shows up, or maybe what you think of is having more light, more warmth, or more energy.

When I think of spring I think of those things too.  But I think we all think of it on another level.  We not only think of what spring looks and feels like.  We think about what it means.  And what it means to me is faith, hope, and love.

Those of you who are Christians may be immediately familiar with that trinity of words as they are found in the Apostle Paul's first letter to the Corinthians.  He wrote, "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love.  And the greatest of these is love."

Granted, I'm taking these completely out of context when I apply them to my view of Spring.  But the words remain apt.

I think of faith when I see the trees bursting forth into bloom and into leaf.  We had faith that the winter would not ruin us, that the bleak times would end eventually, that sustenance would be provided again.

How can you not feel hope when you see a bud about to burst forth?  Or when you see new foliage on the rose bush that has been little more than a barbed set of sticks for month?  Our faith was tested and found to be true and now we reap the reward of hope.  Hope for what is coming soon.

And then there is love.  The greatest of all.  The all-encompassing love.  We love our flowers.  We love the colors.  We love new life. We love our alone time.  We love our dogs, our parents, our spouses, our children, our friends, and our own selves.

May love fill your garden this spring and may it fill your life in the rest of your seasons.