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The small things, and life lessons

June 22nd, 2009 | 5 Comments »

My apologies to those who come here for the food. Although, yes, I am mostly about food in my little corner of the blog-world here, there’s a lot more to what nurtures me than the food I cook; hard to believe, I know, but in the snippets of insight you sometimes get to the rest of my existence, there is a great deal more that brings me joy and I just want to share it with you. It’s not overbearing, really. and feel free to click away if you only want to read about food.
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This post is NOT about food or taste, but a glimpse into other areas of my life that offer nourishment to me. Like sight and smell and touch.

That lovely orb of yellow is a Coreopsis, with a happy critter deep in the middle of an examination. It looks like a honey bee- enough reason to rejoice if it is- but I’m not sure. It’s a delightful flower to see, bright and shiny in the morning sun. The petals look like duck feet.

Having a flower garden has been an amazing joy to me. The tiny little plot was here when we bought our house nearly six years ago. I mulch, water, add plants I enjoy and subtract the efforts of the existing plants to sow their seed everywhere,  and I’ve loved every moment of watching it each year as it always has something to show me, and teach me.

This is one recurring surprise in my garden- English Lavender.
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I planted an “Annual” Lavendar plant about three years ago, and every year since it has decided to return and assault my sense of smell with it’s fragrant blossoms and leaves. Just brushing my leg up against it releases it’s amazing odor and the tiny purple flowers last forever. It gently reminds me of the importance of perseverance and fortitude.

And talk about persevering!
22june 004I discovered this little Maple sapling early this Spring growing in the corner underneath our sunroom. This part of our house stands alone from the rest, and has an open area below it that we’ve walled off with a cedar wall. We use the area to store our firewood and miscellaneous equipment that is not in season, and this tiny seed took root and has grown stupendously surviving on what little morning sun it receives and the rain that sweeps into it’s corner. I am hoping it will grow strong enough for me to remove in late summer and plant somewhere in our yard. The presence of such potential for strength and quiet beauty makes me think that there is much more to the idea of  “Grow where you’re planted” than most of us ever consider.

And again, when all else seems to look bleak for one of my plants, nature has a way of surprising me.
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This is one of three Clematis vines that grow on the cedar wall surrounding the space under our sunroom. Clematis grow in several ways; one type grows and blooms on the old growth from previous years, and another will only grow from the roots.  This variety, called ‘Mrs George Jackman’ is one that grows solely from the roots, and in the early spring it burst from the earth as usual, and then I suddenly noticed that all the vine had died. The roots were still firm in the earth so I let it be, and instead allowed the enormous native Columbine to take over the spot. It was a happy day indeed that I spotted among the Columbine flowers several thick Clematis buds and was able to separate out a single stalk of the vine that had grown and survived.

The white blooms are enormous.
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And given its rough start this year, I don’t even mind that it hasn’t caught up in height with it’s cousins that grow alongside.
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Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? Again, nature shows me that despite circumstances, it doesn’t mean we give up and quit trying. Sometimes it just requires patience, and the right amount of time to reach our potential.

And among all this is a lovely and adorable shaved cat, another source of joy.
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Harmon normally has a very long thick coat and each spring he gets shaved. It makes him more comfortable in the heat and is easier on him in terms of keeping clean. He’s 16 now, and slowing down more each year. He has back issues (yeah, he’s overweight) and some kidney problems and so we do what we can for him. I’ve had him since he was 4 months old, and when I think too long about him leaving this earth, I can hardly stand it. If you’ve never owned a pet, I don’t expect you to understand and it’s OK. He’s a cuddly, snuggly, purring, lovable cat that never fails to crawl into my lap or curl up next to me for a snooze and I love him dearly- almost beyond an ability to express. When he’s shaved like this he feels like rich suede and his big furry feet are adorable. He shows me every day that the best remedies for life are a good nap and spreading the love around, no matter how you may feel.

And so, on the official first full day of Summer, there’s a little bit of the other parts of my life that lift my spirits and ground me in reality. Next time I come back, there’ll be food. I promise.

5 Responses to “The small things, and life lessons”

  1. Jane says:

    I just had to comment since we just returned from the groomer’s place with our cat. She’s not yet a year old, with long, long, long hair. When we rescued her, we never dreamed she’d turn into a giant gray puffball of hair! Just got her shaved, too, and she looks like Mr. Bigglesworth. Or Harmon.
    We did have to euthanise an older cat, Hercules, two summers ago, and I can tell you from experience that you always feel that ache in your heart when you remember them, but it balances out with the great memories you shared. I’d give anything to have him back, but instead we decided to give life to a stray who needed us. I like to think that would have pleased Hercules. But it took us a year to be ready to do it.
    Cherish your Harmon and thanks for sharing your life with us all,

    Jane

  2. katie says:

    Love the glimpse into your garden… And your kitty – sprawled!
    We have an old dog that is having more and more difficulty standing…. It’s a sad thought… – But she keeps trying…

  3. Amy says:

    Beautiful post, beautiful photos. Thanks for making me take a moment to appreciate nature!

  4. Suzie says:

    What a lovely collection of thoughts. Life here is cold and wet at the moment. No leaves on the trees and no flowers in the garden. Thanks for the breath of summer!

  5. Jamie says:

    I can just imagine you standing in that beautiful garden, Harmon snoozing at your feet, with your face turned up towards the sun, your eyes closed, and you just breathing all of this in.

    Beautiful!