{to beauty}

UGH, is it still 2020? It’s been six years!

This morning, Nikki Grimes wondered on Twitter if anyone else needed a reminder of something beautiful in this world, and oh, holy heaven, yes. As she shared a picture of her roses in bloom, so I will share my blooms – and some thoughts on the reasons I stare at my plants when my mind is full.

Sonoma County 236

Despite the fact that I garden, I’m… actually kind of terrible at it. So far this year, the Evil Gopher has eaten two whole plants (although today I saw it ate A WEED. I’m not mad about it), and three have simply failed to thrive. I have no clue what’s up with the leeks and beets, or why they’re not doing anything. There are so many things i should put them on a list and make note that they don’t do well here, so as not to try them again – but I’m more bewildered and sad that they didn’t like me. ☺ Gardening is sometimes a lot about failure – and learning how to face it, breathe through it, and walk on.

Between a box of seeds I collected from a house we rented fifteen years ago (!) and seeds from my friend Elle’s crop last year, we planted LOADS of morning glories in at least four colors around the entire yard. Morning glories… are stubborn sometimes. They CAN grow in poor soil and with tons of neglect, but even when you give them tons of fresh, rich soil, sometimes they just… won’t. Right now, while I have morning glories which are just now stretching up trees and staked on sticks and trying to run up the fence, I have discovered myriad tiny new seedlings which are just now germinating.

We planted them in FEBRUARY.

How is it that seeds I planted months ago in the winter are JUST NOW deciding to germinate? Did their older siblings somehow signal that it was safe? Hanging with my plants reminds me I cannot make anything happen except in its own time. Gardening means relinquishing the idea that you’re in your control. It’s enough to make you scream. It’s also …life. Things happen when they do – and all of our stressing rarely moves the dial. Sometimes what’s needed is patience. Other times, a clipper or a trowel and a new location, or even just fertilizer. You don’t know ’til you get in there.

Sometimes, there’s nothing you can do. (There’s that failure thing again…)

So, you take a breath, and do what you can. You enjoy the blooms that you have.

Irvington 398

Right now, what with the additional plague of “you can’t tell me what to do”-ers infecting the nation, it feels like we might never stop dying of this disease, or gain social closeness again. It feels like authoritarianism continues to invent reasons to eradicate black and brown individuals. It feels like nothing is working, that nothing is worth working for, and that we’ve lived through the winter of our discontent, which is dragging on into an endless summer. It feels – every day, for some – like the end of everything.

It’s a good thing we have this reminder: there are beautiful things in this world. There is rest – even a moment’s surcease from pain. There is hopefulness. Look for it. See.

7 Replies to “{to beauty}”

    1. *swoons* What gorgeous blooms! Thanks for this bit of beauty — you are SO lucky to have flowers growing in your yard. Yellow roses are a particular favorite of mine. 🙂

      BTW, love the new website look — with stunning author photo!!

      1. @jama-j: Yellow roses are my all-time faves, followed closely by those peachy-pink ones that are mostly white but have color only on the outer edges of their leaves. I hope someday you get to visit the rose gardens in Portland – I couldn’t get enough. Someday…

        (PS – D’s doing a GREAT job on the site, isn’t he? I have to take new headshots again already, but am hoping it gets less painful over time…)

        1. So the photo of you is not new? Why did I miss it before? Love it, in any case.

          Roses always remind me of England. I was surprised to see them continue to bloom through November. I carried dark pink roses when I got married. 🙂

          Looking forward to your new MG — noticed that it’s already listed on Amazon.

        2. Hi Tanita! I have had some trouble commenting on your susurrus poem about the woods in the right place, so am writing here. Thank you for inviting others to write with the poetry sisters. I poem is lovely, an invitation to the special place that is the woods which I felt as I read each line. This was such a sensory prompt. Thank you for sharing it. And by the way, the blooms above are gorgeous. My mom used to grow roses.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.