On the upswing

Gratitude!

Neighbor’s yard. April 1, 2020.

After 20 days of not feeling well, I’m regaining my health. Still have my morning cough episodes, but yesterday I walked the neighborhood (2.25 miles, yo!) and today did yard clean-up for three hours and then took another walk. I’m tired now, but not to-the-bone-fatigued. Whatever illness was dogging me, it’s on the way out. Woot! Woot! Woot!

To celebrate, here’s a beautiful little bouquet I photographed in my neighbor’s yard.

Undiminished

Seventeen years ago, I went to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for a three-week session with Marilynne Robinson which was an all-around wonderful experience. She dispensed much wisdom, mostly about reading and writing, but also about life. And this morning, as I looked at the lilies I received from Zippy five days ago, I thought about something Marilynne said during one of our workshops:

People after the age of 23 realize that they’re in the iron fist of gravity and will collect diminishing returns.

At that time, I was 40-years-old and only heard her message on an intellectual level. The thing was, I didn’t feel very far removed from 23 years of age; my returns weren’t yet greatly diminished. After all, every morning I got up and ran fast along the river!

Today I’m feeling more akin to these lilies that, after five days in a vase, broke from their stems in the main bouquet and fell to the countertop. These lilies whose petals are fading and wilting. Lilies in the iron fist of gravity and time.

Flowers still fierce and beautiful in their own way.

Sedentary photography

This afternoon I was doing my usual thang, sitting in a patch of sunshine, when I noticed the lovely blooms on my Christmas Cactus. I hoisted myself up and went for the camera. Then I sat back down and snapped a few pics.

Christmas Cactus blooming on February 16, 2020.

Unfortunately, there was a hair on the camera’s mirror which clearly showed at the bottom of the lower bloom. So I cropped strategically to rid the photo of that distraction.

Sit-and-shoot. Crop-and-fix.
Works for me.

Letting go

Lilies letting go, Amsterdam. April 29, 2017.

I just returned home after my first Trager session in 5+ years. Let’s just say I’m waaaaay relaxed. Good thing I already took care of today’s must-do list because now I’m off to put on my jammie pants and melt onto the couch.

Just breathe

Blue Flax in raised patio bed. May 17, 2018.

Nothing profound, nothing insightful or educational.

Just me posting a blue flax, hoping the image brings a moment of calm in these very rough waters.

Thankful Thursday: mixed bag edition

October 7, 2019

Today I am thankful for:

  • The color purple which I wore to critique group dinner last evening after
    finishing my work-for-hire assignment in the afternoon.
  • A rousing hoop-dancing session this morning before the onset of flu this afternoon.
  • My space heater and oscillococcinum.

In defense of not living in the moment

Lilac bloom on May 17, 2018.

The thermometer currently reads 18 degrees. The sky is gray. It’s snowing and blowing, and is forecast to continue like that through tomorrow morning. I try to live in the moment, to be mindful and present in my life. But right now, in this moment, I’m looking ahead to spring and lilacs in bloom.

Fight me, Pema Chödrön.

Poppy pride

Many people welcome and celebrate autumn’s arrival, and I agree there’s much to be said for cooler temperatures. However, I’m not a fan of stuff dying off. I get that it has to happen, but what makes my heart soar is the new growth and bright colors after long, dark winters.

So today I take another look back at the poppies from my front yard. Look at all that glorious color and all that potential for many more blooms!

On this final day of September, I celebrate the exuberant poppy.

Substitute bloom

Purple Coneflowers are currently blooming in my garden, but this photo is from a year ago. Why? Because it’s currently 91 degrees and I don’t want to be outside taking pictures in the blindingly-bright, sweat-inducing heat.

Sometimes substitution is the best policy.

The specificity of an iris bloom

The more specific we are, the more universal something can become.
Life is in the details. If you generalize, it doesn’t resonate.
The specificity of it is what resonates.

~ Jacqueline Woodson

As I revise a young adult novel written years ago, I’m adding specific details in hopes of creating a resonance. May my story bloom as specifically and beautifully as this iris from my garden!

Sunday Confessional: I’m a slow learner

I’ve blogged before about people ghosting me when it comes to picking up free perennials from my yard. In fact, last fall’s episode turned into a huge, time-sucking disaster. After that debacle I vowed to only put plants out at the curb with a FREE sign on them and to let whatever happens happen.

So why did I reach out to the man who’d shown up last fall minutes late for those plants? Because he’d come all that way and left empty-handed (after someone from the neighborhood ended up taking the plants, I guess). But more importantly, I reached out because he seemed like a good guy in need of plants for the non-profit he started. So I texted him the other day and told him what I had available. He immediately replied that he was interested and that he could pick them up Sunday afternoon. He said, “I’ll text you.”

Sure, dude. Watch me age as I wait for that text.

This tortoise photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels seems a good representation of my current emotional state.

So here I am, again, with plants that need to be put in the ground soon. One garbage bag filled with Lamb’s Ear and another bag of Golden Yarrow and Russian Sage.

I’d ask if anyone reading this wants them, but we all know how that would play out.

Wishful thinking

It’s snowing right now. Two days ago it was 70 degrees. Why must Colorado weather be so erratic? Where’s my sunshine? My warmth? Where has spring gone to hide?

While I await its return, here are some springtime clematis blooms from several  years ago.

Spring, please hurry on back!

Thank you!

Love,
Tracy

Twofer Tuesday: tulip edition

A few minutes ago I was working in my front yard, sowing death and destruction via my homemade weed killer (white vinegar, salt, and dish soap), while feeling frustrated and worn out by neverending garden demands. I was dreaming of a full-time gardener. Or better yet, a tiny house and one pot of geraniums. Or maybe a barrel of gasoline and a match to make it all go away.

Then I hit PAUSE on my grumpiness and focused on some blooming tulips.

It really is a wonderful thing to survive a long, dark, cold, snowy winter and be rewarded with colorful flowers. I’m still dreaming of my own gardener, but in the meantime I’m gonna try to appreciate the beauty poking through the tangled, weedy mess that is my front yard.

Beautiful stranger

I took this photo from the boardwalk at Kapok Park and just did a quick online search in hopes of identifying the plant. I was unsuccessful.

However, I don’t need to know the name of this lovely flora to appreciate its beauty. But if anyone out there can identify it for me, I’d welcome the information.

 

Making happy while the sun hides

It’s Monday and the view out my window is gray and overcast. I’m in need of sunshine, but don’t have the power to make that happen. So I’ll settle for the next best thing:  a bright and cheery sunflower.

You’re welcome. And Happy Monday!