Monday, July 11, 2011

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.


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