Last fall my niece Jen sent me these 2 lovely autumn leaves. She lives in New Jersey, so autumn puts on a more colorful show there than we get on the South Texas Gulf Coast. They arrived in perfect condition and I pressed them between the pages of my gratitude journal. This week I smiled with pleasure when the leaves fell again – out into my lap. I texted her a thank you. It was as if they waited until the calendar said go for their repeat performance.
Blowing bubbles on the porch with my 2 year old granddaughter turns me into a child again. We laugh as we watch the bubbles float out over the grass and disappear. This batch of bubbles mysteriously decided to stay longer, lingering on a fern frond or hibiscus leaf long enough to amaze us.
globe of mystery
I hold my breath.
reluctant raindrops linger
gathered on leaf’s edge.
This bloom on a small container potted shrub reminds me of another purple bloom, in another place, the garden we moved away from a few months ago. It also reminded me that I still need to sit, that I need to be still. The birds and flowers are different, but there are yet the settling and knowing, the holy moments.
“Sitting in your garden is a feat to be worked at with unflagging determination and single-mindedness – for what gardener worth his salt sits down. I am deeply committed to sitting in the garden.” – Mirabel Osler
Sitting still is necessary for so many things: I listen better when I sit still. I hear things unheard when I am crunching on the gravel or digging or clipping. The butterflies and hummingbirds come closer when I am still. The cardinal pair lingers longer on the fence. Appreciation and savoring of beauty may run after me when I am on the move but they settle around my shoulders like a soft cover when I sit still. And in the stillness I begin to settle – the cloudy debris of things which can fret and hurt begin to drift to the bottom, leaving pure, clear knowing. Holy moments can happen when I sit in my garden. (Reposted from this blog, written on August 17, 2013.)
Still true, in a very different garden. Three years ago, this is the picture I posted, a different purple bloom on the Vitex tree in that garden.
A few days ago as I sat on our back porch after watching the sunrise, I noticed a dragonfly near the edge of Bougainvillea planted nearby. Something about it made me get closer to pay attention. Then I saw the dragonfly was trapped in a strand of spider web and had beat the edges of one wing to fray. Now it hung suspended with only an occasional wiggle. I called to my husband, who reached up and gently disentangled the lacy wing and held him in the palm of his hand, then placed him on a begonia leaf. We watched happily as awareness came, wings lifted, and the dragonfly flew away. The photographs tell the story.
Stop, the sign seems to say
to its clinging companion
but wild things pay no attention,
heed no warning
and stop signs don’t say Help.
Reno, Nevada. July 24, 2016
Deep roots fasten in dry rocks
Still strong and alive
Hope ever green
When it is dark outside and lights are turned on within, I can see the beauty of this stained glass only by standing outside. When I am inside darkened space, I see breathtaking art because there is sunlight outside. The color is always there, but I have to stand where I face the light to see it.