Get ready for bigger and bolder, cleaner and clearer--even more to amaze and astonish. After five incredibly wonderful years with the first, I have just purchased my next generation camera and...well, oh la la, is all I can say. With more than double the megapixels, greater than 3x my previous optical zooming capabilities, and too many cool features to count, I am surely in for some wondrous discoveries.
Stay tuned! It all begins anew, and I look forward to sharing with you.
The Generosity of Flowers
There must have been a first seed, a first plant, but that would have been so long ago that I don't remember it. Still, I do believe it was I who brought cosmo and morning glory into my gardens. After all, they are here--in force!-- and they weren't anywhere to be seen when I arrived here.
I do nothing to bring them on each spring; still, year after year they not only return, they proliferate, with plenty for me and plenty to share. For the small favor of a periodic watering, I am rewarded daily with new bursts of color, which they will continue to offer until the cold nights of October and November signal them to stop. By then the finches will have come to feast on the thistle-like seed of the cosmos. They will flit and sway and nibble on and around the boughs to their hearts' content. And no matter their feasting and my deadheading, plenty of new seed will nestle into the earth to begin the cycle over again come spring.
Perpetual in a different fashion is the jasmine--thanks to Anne, there is jasmine. "And we'll grow jasmine," she had said, "...on the terrasse." She meant in Dublin or Paris and though we did not find it in Dublin and did not live in Paris, when I saw it in Boston, I thankfully brought it home. Its sweet constancy--glossy dark leaves indoors in winter, the surprise of the first buds oh, hello there! in spring, and the profusion of flowers in "my secret garden" all summer long--has entranced me ever since. And that perfume!--so deliriously heady on the humid days and nights: it reaches, wraps, caresses, seduces, rounds corners even, riding the currents of moisture and air. I do not so much have as I am had by jasmine: its command is clear and holds sway. It too asks so little for all it gives.
But such is the generosity of flowers. And such is the grace of abiding by them.
It comes to me like any other new thought, but with an urgency. Now! it says, and puts me in motion. In this case, "Bring this plant out now."
It has been perfectly fine to house and care for my Norfolk Island Pine indoors for nearly 30 years, but today, there is rain on the way, and for some reason now--right now--it must be rained upon. It is just as if the tree has spoken it: I must be rained upon. The urgency seems to come from the plant itself.
And so with a bit of struggle, with no one at hand to help, I muster my strength and manage, sideways because it has grown from about 10 inches to nearly six feet over time, gently so as to cause no damage to its needle-fronds and limbs, and in stages because of its mass and weight, to remove the tree from bay window, carry it from dining room to kitchen, through the portico, and down the back stairs to...liberation! That's exactly how it felt, how I feel it feels for the pine to be out here, ready to receive its first-ever (or in decades at least) raindrops. To be ionized, dusted by the elements, kissed by early sun and late sun and tousled by wind--to be, finally, free. "After 30 years in captivity," I hear myself say to a friend, "I liberated my Norfolk Island Pine today!"
It's not that it's never occurred to me to bring it out. In fact, each spring I put most of the house plants outdoors for summering. Come Autumn, they return to these rooms robust, thriving with a new vitality. Maybe because of its bulk, maybe because of its commanding presence in the household, the pine has remained inside. But no longer.
It's funny how a thing can work just fine for a time--decades even--and then all at once work no more. Within moments of registering the imperative now!, my hands were in motion, the transfer was underway.
I have heard the voice of the flowers, and now, the Pine. I did not know this sort of perception would come part and parcel with developing energy sensitivity. But it makes sense that it would. If I can read a human field, why not a plant's, an animal's, a stone's? Of course it would come to this--and continue beyond this. There are no secrets Life won't share with a sufficiently humbled heart, it seems.