I feel like I’ve been neglecting this blog lately. It’s not by choice; I’m back in the busy-ness of teaching, which has swallowed up my attention and energy, and I’ve also been finishing up a big-and-fun writing project (you’ll hear more on that soon). I hope normal blogging will resume shortly.
But for now, I offer you some pretty pictures of flowers. Enjoy these last few weeks of summer, and don’t forget to pause and smell the roses.
People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.
— Iris Murdoch
I love tulips better than any other spring flower; they are the embodiment of alert cheerfulness and tidy grace.
— Elizabeth von Arnim, Elizabeth and Her German Garden
I looked out into the backyard yesterday, and what did I see? A little clump of freesias blooming in the middle of an empty flowerbed.
I planted those bulbs ages ago, even before having kids. Somehow I always forget that they are there until some day in the spring, when I happen to look out at that part of the yard and find a beautiful surprise.
Now they’re in the living room. I can see them as I sit here at my laptop; when I get closer, I can smell them. It makes me happy to think that a little bit of digging on a fall afternoon can bring such lovely, lasting rewards.
What in your life is bringing you joy today?
Last summer, I planted this fuschia in a pot in the yard. I kept watering it and plying it with Miracle-Gro, and it … barely grew. I hardly got a bud all summer.
Then, over fall and winter, I basically ignored it. (Primroses excepted, I ignored the yard in general, as the weeds will bear witness.) But last week, I happened to go out on the patio and there was the fuschia: twice as tall as it used to be, twice as wide, and blooming with beautiful bell-like flowers.
I think there must be a message here somehow, one that applies to parenting as well as gardening: Too much attention can backfire, sometimes. Maybe sometimes things need to be left to their own devices, to grow and bloom quietly, nourished by rain and sun and other things from above.
Is there anything in your life that you should step away from for a while?
Everything in the vase came from our own yard. That’s a very nice feeling, somehow.
Where are you finding beauty today?