Tulips

Tulips must have been the first of God’s flowers. They hold his mark.

c.e.hollis

Sun shines on tulips and they open to the warmth of it. When the sun sets they close and rest. Each day the petals open wider in the sunlight until finally the petals hang backwards. Night comes and they don’t close. They have learned that even the night is warm to one who loves it.

I love the idea that tulips are shy of life at first but later learn to not be timid, to face life full on, to go for life with open arms and an open heart. So before their time is up and they wilt and drop their petals among the green stems and leaves they have learned to grasp every bit of life. Some life they didn’t use up but treasured deeply in their hearts, they have stored in their bulbs. So even when they are faded and gone, they bloom again in other people. They leave that legacy and someday they will share it.

Water Garden

 

If we had keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life,

it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heartbeat,

and we should die of that roar

which is the other side of silence.

George Eliot

 

Water moves always and with it brings life. The water tumbling down the hillside gurgles and runs over rocks, through channels, around and over stones washing minerals from the soil. At the foot of the hill, it slows and deposits some of that content and the tree roots, shrubs, and flowers drink their fill.

The cypress trees love the pond and grow all around its edges. They send up roots called cypress knees –roots gasping for air. Ducks glide across the glassy surface or waddle along the banks searching for bugs to eat through the grasses and around the pond, but never far. An elderly couple delight in feeding the ducks and geese from a bag of bread pieces just beside the sign that reads, “Please don’t feed our waterfowl.”

The ducks lay eggs in grassy hollows along the water’s rim and hunt for bugs and minnows beneath the water plants. They plan to raise their ducklings and goslings right here where there is plenty of water and free food. Nevermind the children who chase them with glee and the odd rations. There are no coyotes or foxes here.

In spring buses bring folks to see the first stirrings of the year, to cheer themselves with tulips and dogwood, redbud, and magnolia.

In the summer flowers bloom and children run and play in the shady park.  Sprinklers move the water and keep things green in the heat.

In the autumn the water flows to give drinks to thirsty roses, zinnias, and chrysanthemums. The leaves turn color and begin to dry in the wind and fall to the ground where they carpet the ground  with brown and float like late boats on the pond.

In winter cars loads of grandmas and children drive slowly through the park to see the Christmas lights and listen to carols while sucking on striped candy canes. In the pond’s center is a great white swan lit up and as big as a Buick. She gleams and glows in majestic glory.

 

Dogwood Gardens

“If you have not heard the trees of the field clap their hands, do not think it is because they don’t.”

McClandish Phillips

Walking in the gardens this week, I was thrilled to see the dogwoods blooming like mad . They are the prettiest things. The joy of them feeds your soul like food feeds the belly.

The crabapples are still blooming, a tinge here and there of redbud, and some of the dogwood is pink for a contrast of color on the white. Yet if you look close you will see pink on the outer edge of each of the four white petals.

Because it blooms at Eastertime many say it represents the cross with a drop of blood on each pure petal and in the center a crown of thorns. The pink trees are unusual, but I do prefer the white dogwood. It seems more natural.

In the quiet of the garden, where the only sounds are rustling of wind in the treetops and the gurgle of water in the pools and streams, along with the voices of birds singing, I can rest my mind and restore my soul, drink in the scene and then turn it into new pictures for my mind to hold.

I don”t suppose a person could ever fill up every memory spot in the brain with such sights. What I can’t remember with my brain, I try to remember with my camera.

When my elderly mother spent whole days lying quietly alone in her bed we asked her “Aren’t you lonesome, Mama?” and she replied, “No, I have my memories.”