Well, I only missed one day outside. That one was spent sleeping and recovering from what I can most gratefully refer to as – a minor accident in my home.
Out and about, the countryside views have been glorious. I’m blessed to enjoy the flowers in our yard. The child size statuary in a country town has been adorned by a red knitted cap. Fun! I’ve been thinking about the gate. It has a story it wants to tell; perhaps I can listen well and write it in the days ahead.
August went by so quickly this year. My decision to go outside every day and observe was a good one and I plan to continue into my favorite month, September. I’m looking forward to what will be offered to me and I encourage you to look about and truly see the things that might be just outside your own backdoor.
Last September, I wrote about finding seed clusters in the spent Calla Lily blooms. I waited and on October 31, I gathered my harvest.
Tiny seeds sloughed from corn like coatings. One can find anything on-line but directions are not the same as in person tutoring to me and I was left with this small collection of seeds to protect till spring. I put them in a small cardboard box and while I didn’t forget them, I also didn’t plant them as directed. But on a putter-y kind of day in early June, I sprinkled them in a pot. My little seeds were faithful to their calling to live and sprang up!
They have been growing well and I’ve transplanted them into another pot. Rain and sun will nourish them well.
There are some areas of my life where seeds of faith lie scattered in the soil of my heart. I’m encouraged that like the Calla Lily seeds, these faith seeds are growing good roots.
White flowers offer us luminous, glowing life in a garden.
They bring a cooling refreshment to my soul. Many years ago I read about moon gardens – gardens to delight by moonlight.
I have planted many white and light colored flowers to capture the glow as the summer night settles in. Like moonlight itself, there is a kind of comfort from their glow in the dark; fragile beauty lighting the night.I’ve also learned that some plants only give out their fragrance in the dark hours.
Sometimes the fragrance of love can seem most fragile and exquisite in dark hours too. Even as a long distance watchman, I could hear it, sense the beauty and the fragrance, hear the heart cry as another beloved family member slipped from the darkness of this life into brilliance – luminous, glowing beauty beyond our knowing.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house,
And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. Psalm 36: 7-9 NKJV
Recently a writing prompt surfaced in an old journal and drew me in again – Color.
I find that the spring light makes color more vibrant, more uplifting to my soul.
If you had asked me about yellow, well, at first I wouldn’t have much to say except it is a cheerful color. But reflection tells me it is woven through my adult life – a favorite dress in soft yellow, then yellow gingham curtains and yellow walls in a baby’s room, a fun yellow car, bouquets of dandelions in a chubby fist, a yellow bike, vintage yellow crocks in the kitchen… a touch here and there.
The yellows of early spring glow. More memories glow too: puckery lemons with peppermint stick straws at the Flower Mart in Baltimore, Mom’s lemon meringue pies with toasty brown peaks atop creamy fillings – best fresh from the oven… Do you have memories in yellow? Do they bring happy smiles to your face now?
I drink in the beauty long delayed and so welcomed. No matter the time of day, these lily-like flowers enchant. Life locked in bulbs with a mysterious time clock – leaf, bloom, rest – go round the seasons.
I’m honored that my minor contributions to their wellbeing allow the cycle to continue and they flourish. The name Amaryllis means “to sparkle”.
Outside, the same clock of life ticks. Green leaves push hard through frozen ground, leaf litter, snow and ice.
And morning surprises with snowdrops seeded into lawn and weed patch – nature’s seed time and harvest continues. In the gentle rhythm of seasons, the light of life can shine deeply into dark and hidden places. In prepared soil or hostile environment, in tender care or neglect, snowdrops grow and bloom.
I’m observing lessons of both hope and warning to consider what is growing in the soil of my life and heart. Today, I choose hope for myself – to see in these blooms a willingness to embrace life, the new thing springing forth even in what seems to be wilderness. Choosing life, growing in obedience to Creator God, persevering as from a seed growing through harshness of soil, sometimes bitter cold, flood or drought and even life’s mowing seasons and on to maturity, bringing forth beauty to delight the soul of another whether or not they understand my name or words or calling. Perhaps then I would sparkle too.
It’s been a long wait. Summering on the back porch, resting in the garage through fall, re-potted at Thanksgiving…waiting…hardly a green tip for Christmas…
Jan 9 Feb 16 Mar 7
Two pots; the first to show green will be opening in the next day or so. This one had another stalk which will open in a few days. An abundance of richness was forming slowly, so slowly this year.
I don’t know if you love houseplants; I’m really not the best caretaker, but on long wintery days I love sitting in the dining room with living green while the earth outside still hides its treasure.
While the temperatures outside have been moderating, the snow and ice accumulation this winter was such that the reservoir has been frozen over. I could not resist the drive early last week.
I’m sure we all hope that winter is truly over and the first day of spring will bring in a long and lovely new season. These last days we have had rain and fog and now wind howls about drying the surface of things. Tomorrow, the ground should be firm enough that I can look for the Lenten roses. I optimistically freed them from their thick overcoat of oak leaves the beginning of February at the suggestion of the garden columnist. I have hoped that the blanket of snow has kept them safe. Are you hunting for signs of spring too?
Too windy for reflections this beautiful day, but as I turned away from the water view, a glimpse of color near my feet sent me off on a hunt for tiny treasures.
“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” William Cullen Bryant
Several autumns we drove from Elmira to Ithaca, both towns in New York. Near the end of this route we would come round a bend and the hillside would be swathed with purple. I always wondered what trees turned purple, but this year we have purple trees in our neighborhood! They are a bit difficult to photograph, there are not many places to stop on winding country roads but I captured this one on the drive home. From Seeing Trees, I am learning about anthocyanin, a blue, violet or red pigment found in the leaves of some trees. It’s activity is dependent on sunlight, rainfall and weather. Our long cool and sunny days are producing interesting variations in the leaf color of maple trees this year. I’m learning to pay attention to these wonderful details.
I only stepped out the door for a moment, just to cut a single stem, but my world was waking and calling me to come and see once more before the flower season ends. One stem led to another…
I was given a pot of lovely calla lilies in the spring. When they finished blooming, I moved the foliage to a large pot outdoors and then remembered rhizomes I had saved from last year so I added them to the pot. It was rather late for them but they sent up leaves and two blooms. Usually, I am attentive to remove the faded blooms but these were forgotten, the pot drying and the older foliage withering away.
It was a sad sight and I decided to move the pot away from our sitting area when a flash of color caught my eye. It is these tiny sightings that lead to amazing discoveries.
Seeds! Seeds forming in the faded bloom! I had no idea of this. I am learning about these seed kernels and waiting for them to ripen, turning yellow or orange. Each kernel will have 2-5 seeds. This one cone could yield 50 seeds!
I’m so glad now that I “neglected” these plants so that their amazing fruitfulness can be displayed.