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Archive for the ‘flowers’ Category

Tall red grass
Tall red grass

Coming in to work this morning I noticed, maybe for the first time, a planter full of tall red grass encircled by bright yellow marigolds.

The sky is now blue and the air warm, but this morning was grey and crisp and a cool wind tossed the air back and forth like a kitten with a ball. It was a brief and refreshing reminder that fall is on its way.

In the breezy early hours the tall, red, wheat-like grass danced around so elegantly it called for an audience. It’s Monday, however, and most urbanites are hurrying off to begin their work week, too busy too stop and watch the long lean leaves sway to a silent song.

 I was unusually early this morning, and in no hurry at all. So the red grass had an adoring audience of one. As I stood admiring the beauty and grace before me I felt so fortunate. I quietly thanked the plants for their loveliness, the city planner for the container, the landscaper for the combination of colors and heights, and coordinated set of circumstances that brought me to that moment in time.

 Life truly is grand.

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Starting over after the fire

Starting over after the fire

The canyon behind my friend Ginita’s house in San Diego burned in the last round of fires there.  As we walked her dog along the trail/fire road and saw a sea of blackened brush the contrast with the new growth was more than beautiful; it was inspiring.

Amidst the charred wood a tall, dried white grass and cheerfully yellow flowers grow.  For a visual person like myself, the stark distinction is breathtaking.  And then, as air refilled my lungs, I was struck by the wonderful and unalterable way nature has of beginning again.  Every death has within it the promise of new life.

I don’t know what this canyon looked like before the fire.  Somehow I believe it couldn’t have been as striking untouched as it is now, having gone through this bit of adversity.  There are people I know with this same deep beauty; exuding a complex magnificence that only reveals itself after walking through the fire and being nourished by the ash.

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Sue's Pink Poppies

Sue's Pink Poppies

My friend Sue is a Master Gardener, and the large patches of earth circling her home near Banks, Oregon, reflect that. Every time I visit her we take a leisurely turn around the garden.  She points out new starts and interesting things she’s learned; pruning a little here, pulling a weed there.  I ask about this or that and just generally gawk at the beauty she’s created.

This Sunday I saw for the very first time a pink poppy.  I didn’t even know they existed. I am not a Master Gardener, as you may have guessed.  I am, however, a bit of a photographer; so I immediately had to take a photo of this anomaly. I delighted for several minutes in this new find.  Not only did I learn something new (which I love to do) while reveling in the splendor of Sue’s garden; but I also opened another window of possibility in my mind.

If such a lovely thing as pink poppies exists without my knowledge, imagine what other wonders are commonplace for someone else that I am completely unaware of.  What other bits of deliciousness are just laying about waiting to be stumbled upon? The possibilities are endless, really. And that is one of the great and marvelous things about this world. At every moment we have the possibility of discovering new sources of beauty and joy, unfolding worlds before us like a napkin on a lap.

There are three things my father told me with such emphasis and frequency that I hear them repeated in my head over and over: 1) A good photographer uses a tripod (still haven’t nailed that one), 2) Write it down (in progress), and 3) Enjoy the journey.

I do believe I’m beginning to figure that last one out.

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I walked through warm, spring sunshine from my office at March of Dimes into Whole Foods in downtown Portland, already somewhat euphoric from soaking up the beams of light. And though I’ve been to this Whole Foods several times before, for some reason today it struck me differently. I entered the store and, met by these fresh cut flowers, I stopped in my tracks and dropped my jaw at the beauty of it.
Maybe it was the gerber daisies that grabbed hold of me so strongly. I love the bold brightness of gerber daisies. But it doesn’t really matter what it was. I slowed my pace, took a nice long look at the rainbow in petals before me and even closed my eyes to fully enjoy the sweet smell of stargazer lillies. The whole experience was heavenly.

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