The power of gentleness

Flowers holding up posts

I took this photo at a remote Inn near Abiquiu because I loved the rich golden hues of the peeled cottonwood posts in the saturated New Mexican sunshine.

But then the flowers drew my attention. Appearing fragile, they stretch out, holding the posts apart.

I am reminded that life, in its very gentleness, can be intensely powerful.

What happens every day is what’s surprising.
The treasure’s never where I look to find it, but where I simply look–the sky, the wind, a sunrise,
a silver arc, the moment’s chance.

~Ursula le Guin~

Dance like no one is watching

Picture of dancing iris

I once borrowed a very expensive sports car and was cruising down the freeway when I was pulled over by the highway patrol. When I protested that I had been carefully driving under the speed limit, they cheerfully agreed. “We just wanted to see what one of those looks like up close. Have a nice day, now.”

This white bearded iris reminds me of that car. It appears to be dancing fifty miles an hour while it’s just standing still!

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
Under the shade of a coolibar tree,
And he sang as he sat and waited for his billy-boil,
You’ll come a-waltzing, Matilda, with me
~Australia’s national song, 
written by Andrew “Banjo” Paterson~

 

The color of beauty

Picture of blue and red agave

This red and blue-green giant agave plant calls the Thompson-Boyce Arboretum home. I often go visit this amazing place, about half-way between Apache Junction and Superior in Arizona. I find peace here, and plants that never fail to surprise me and enrich my life.

What I like best about this plant is its glowing diversity of color.The combination of hues, probably evolving to attract pollinating insects, lures me in as well!

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
~Robert Brault~

 

The kittens and the sunflowers

Picture of kittens in the sunshine

It was a western facing window in the afternoon. You can tell that by the sunflowers turning their faces toward the sun just as little Ellf was. Mac, on the other hand, was staring drowsily at the photographer, me. The two found comfort in the warm sun and in the closeness of each other. That was all they needed.

Perhaps we look too hard for happiness. Content lies often in those things the closest to our heart. Warmth, companionship, flowers, and…kittens!

It’s good to be just plain happy; it’s a little better to know that you’re happy; but to understand that you’re happy and to know why and how…to be happy in the being and the knowing, well that is beyond happiness, that is bliss.
~Henry Miller~

Why did I worry so much?

Picture of red geraniums and magenta petunias

I found this hanging basket in one of my favorite places in the world, Jerome, Arizona. Here magenta petunias hang out in perfect harmony with bright red geraniums.

When I was a teenager, I agonized over whether parts of my outfit color-matched. Red did not “go” with pink and definitely not with magenta! Since I’ve grown older, I’ve mellowed.

I’m reminded of a master gardener who once informed me, “ALL flowers play together, whatever the color of their blooms.” I agree!

There are moments when everything
turns out right.
Don’t let it alarm you: they pass.

~Jules Renard~

 

 

The cosmos in a feathered shadow

cosmos shadows

My father always grew cosmos in his summer garden. He would proudly bring a bouquet into the house and my mother would display them on our kitchen table in the same small glass vase each summer evening.

Although both my parents are gone, I still have the vase. And each summer I grow the cosmos of my childhood.

The name cosmos comes from the Greek and has two distinct meanings. One is “an ordered universe.” The other is “ornament.” I fancy that my modest cosmos flowers bring order to a universe that is often in need of ornament!

We have what we seek.
It is there all the time,
and if we give it time,
it will make itself known to us.
~Thomas Merton~