A Close Look


One of my gifts for Mothers Day was a bunch of tulips.  They were a delightful surprise when I found them on my front porch. I took them out of their box, trimmed their stems and put them into water, fragile, tight buds, petals held together like small pastel hugs, no clue of their real color. By the next morning, buds began to turn to blooms and the next few days were a wonder of  unfolding deep magenta, peach, orange and apricot plus buttery yellows punctuated with a few creamy white blossoms.  My tulips were lovely and I enjoyed them every day.  But it was only as they truly opened and I came close to marvel at the art inside their cups that I saw all the colors, all the intricate markings of their center.  I admired them from a distance, but they took my breath away when I looked more carefully.

I learn to “look again” and practice wonder.

“The patterns of our lives reveal us.  Our habits measure us.”

011Thank you, Jeremy.

Alive Again

024The patch of wood fern under our Meyer lemon tree never completely dies back in a mild winter like last year’s season.  Even so, brown scraggly branches and twiggy stems look untidy and we need to cut it down.  That part of the garden looks bald and bereft for awhile, but without fail, fresh fronds begin to push their way up and begin unfurling.  I sometimes wish I could do time lapse photography to capture this annual rebirth.  Suddenly, what seemed hopelessly ugly last week blooms green!


Alive Again

pushing through darkness, reaching for light

fronds a dozen shades of green

unroll like little scrolls

what does it feel like to leaf out?



Pruning is one of my most difficult tasks, inside and out. But just look how the roses can bloom when rid of all their excess branches and runners!


“We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time: How much is enough?”

~Wendell Berry

I must let go of things that weigh me down

I must free myself of cumber

I must pare down, lighten my load

I must go through with this relinquishment.

I must rid myself of too much, too many.

I am called to marvel at quotidian mysteries

to be attentive and astonished

to cultivate inner and outer space

to create time for what matters most

to simplify