Monday, February 23, 2015

Garden. Sunshine. Awakening. . .

I feel as if I've been playing hooky from my blog, which is rather a silly way to conceive a few days away -- my last post was on Friday, and today's only Monday. I'm sure you've all been quite happily busy doing all manner of interesting things and scarcely noticed I'd slipped away to a family-filled weekend in Vancouver without telling you. But there it is. I felt a teeny bit AWOL and a teeny bit defiant about it, and that's all a bit silly, and I'm trying to sort out why that might be and what I should do about it.

Meanwhile, though, I've had post drafts full of photographs to write up, and I'm going to send those out into the world as I had originally planned with the hope that you might enjoy them. We've been sorting a few bigger things that I'm not able to write much about here but that are getting in the way, rather, of my urge to write about much else. Very bad news about an old friend balanced with some exciting and happy news that will, however, change our family dynamics considerably. Retirement rushing ever closer, insisting as it does that we should make some concrete plans for the next year. Insisting loudly, in an argument with inner voices that suggest perhaps staying put and taking stock might also be valuable.  Wonderful to have choices. But sometimes confounding. . .
 Luckily, the garden is very distracting these days and a gentle but firm reminder of the wisdom of trust, of cycles, of acknowledging ups and downs, of the way change and continuity are merely two sides of the same coin, and that so often the hope that we can't see is growing beneath the surface even as all might look tired or difficult.

 The action is speeding up now, after a week of temperatures creeping toward the low teens (Celsius, of course). The photo above, of a white currant flower ready to burst into bloom, was taken 8 days ago. When we get home tomorrow, I suspect we'll see that the shrub is in full bloom.

And even those plants that aren't giving us flowers yet are painting the walkways and garden beds in all sorts of delightful ways -- here a bit of chiaroscuro, brightened by the sharpest, sweetest greens.
 The spring sunshine dances so tenderly with this burgeoning new growth, but would it be so sweet if not set against the sere colours of last year's faded vegetation?























So we move forward, wondering, secretly, how much more life can toss at us, how well we'll be able to weather it all, aware that some of it (there will be, inevitably, more and more and more news of old friends laid low, felled) requires strength beyond our youth's imaginings. Better keep looking for the restorative moments, then. Better keep tracking the beauty, the kindness, the sheer fun (little girl cousins giggling together, 6, 3, 6 months -- perhaps I'll tell you more later. . . )

Today, a new week. Dig in. Make the most of it, shall we? And I do hope you're patient with the garden photos. . . .I do hope someday there might be more substantive writing here. 

19 comments:

  1. Yes, just sit with the growth in the garden and see where it takes you. We are all weaning ourselves from to-do lists to to-live lists. Lovely photos.

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  2. I think it must be that time of life...changes and challenges with friends and family have been keeping me busy too with little time left for blogging.
    Your garden looks like the perfect spot to immerse yourself in quiet beauty.

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    1. More challenges than my younger self might have expected! But there are gardens. . . Yours is a beautiful one for gathering calm strength.

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  3. Oh, that bright, bright green...it's always such a mood-lifter! Nature is such a great reminder to not sweat the small stuff, but rather to revel in it.

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    1. And it seems even to offer an antidote to some of the big stuff. #gratitude

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  4. There are so many green leaves and shoots bursting forth that it would be a pity not to enjoy these days.

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  5. Those photos are exquisite. I think that they will inspire me to look more closely at similar scenes here, if the carpet of snow ever disappears! Spring is less than a month away, right?

    I am sorry to hear that the blog is feeling like a duty! I hope that you will take it easy, take some time off, rather than feel this way. Your retirement seems to come with burdens, too, instead of freedom! Maybe I'm reading too much into your post.

    My life these days feels full of problems, and too much to do. College visits last week made it more real that a year from now, all my son's applications will be in.

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    1. I wouldn't say you're reading too much into my post, Marie, but rather that I hope I can balance the darker with the lighter. I do sometimes feel an obligation to the blog, but I know it's a self-imposed one, and imposed, really, because of the pleasures I glean here. So pleased to know you enjoy the photos.

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  6. For those of us in snow bound southern Ontario, your garden pictures couldn't be more welcome. I can only dream of the small bulbs under the snow, making lovely roots along with their plans to come up somewhere in the new few months or so. A garden is so many things to a serious gardener; promise, hope recollection of warmth and sunshine and the gratification of watching the daily changes. I have zonal envy!

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  7. The fresh green against last year's debris - perfect. I agree that it is somehow so much more beautiful for the bleak setting.
    Life, in all its turning and twisting, exploding and deflating - we somehow just take it as it comes. It's more than just life though - it's time of life........and we are in the deep end. I hope that some of the changes, twists and turns feature joy. A little can take us a long way.

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    1. We are definitely in the deep end. . . and somehow, I didn't really see it coming. Thank goodness for joy where we find it!

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  8. I have been following with interest your growing concern about retirement. After years of working 50 to 60 hour weeks and commuting, I decided to retire. At first I was full of thoughts about what I should do but then I thought I would retire from all the "shoulds". My partner, who is younger, insisted that I was not to take on any of his household tasks but rather just take a well deserved rest and ponder how I wanted to spend my time, while catching up on reading I had been putting off but could now enjoy. It was wonderful! Many months later I had the reserve to spend several months living with my Mother after being told she was dying and needed to go into a nursing home. I knew it was not her time so brought her home and got her back on her feet. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life but three years later, she is still living independently at 95 years of age. I returned home to follow my passion of studying anthropology. I travel. I help with grandsons now that my daughter has returned to school. I truly think the quiet time at the beginning of retirement paid off well. I highly recommend it.

    Also thanks for mentioning how much you enjoyed Monkey Beach. I just finished it and really enjoyed it also.

    Also, enjoy your weather, Colorado has lots of snow.

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    1. Sarah, thank you so much for taking the time to leave this comment. I know that retirement is the right thing for me now, if only for me to make room for other possibilities, just for sinking into a different part of life, a part I hold back from right now because of what it takes to do my job responsibly. I'm so glad to hear about your lovely time with your mother and to know what a difference that has made. And I will take your recommendation of quiet, unstructured time to heart.
      Glad to hear you enjoyed Monkey Beach. Stay warm in all that cold and snow!

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  9. Your vibrant pops of green look like anticipation and hope. I wish I could garden so I'm happy to wait and watch yours develop.

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    1. Happy to oblige -- or at least my garden seems to be.

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  10. Beautiful garden photos, full of hope. I yearn for gardens about now, am yearning for a few hellebores as well.... in time.

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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