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Color Seduction

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When I enter this place, I leave the world with all it's troubles behind. I am lured into the garden by the scent of honeysuckles, lavenders, lilacs, and moonshine-broom, by the frog concert in the spring, by the melodic sounding waterfall in the front of my living room window. I miss the frog songs in the summer when the Athanum creek has dried up. Butterflies and hummingbirds have daily territorial battles over the bee balm, crocosmia, hibiscus, and trumpet vines. The hummers are the declared victors in this uneven fight and, as it turns out, are quite vicious. Their battle cry, like that of an angry, unhappy, and nagging woman when chasing off the butterflies almost makes me dislike the little fellers.

I go outside in the morning with my cup of coffee “just to take a stroll” in order to get my fill of pleasure and sanity before my day starts. But this living sanctuary of mine is sneaky, it has “wait-a-minute-tentacles” that render me unable to leave, calling out to me: “Pull this weed, move this plant, prune these branches,” I’m being enticed to look closer, to come in deeper, and to listen more intently to the abundant creatures that are all around me. Indulging in the alluring world that remains yet to be created, the world of possibilities. When I come to, I find myself on my hands and knees, covered with sweat and dirt. My morning has turned into noon once again. I feel guilty because my kitchen is still dirty, the dishes and the laundry are only half done and I haven’t even thought about what to cook for dinner. I hate this time stealer, it’s ridiculous how much time I have to spend out there just to keep up with the weeds and watering. Hauling hoses around two-and-a-half acres in hundred degree weather and deciding where to set which sprinkler, because we usually don’t get enough water pressure up here on our little hill which we live on, can wear anybody out. Starting to go up the driveway, back to my dirty kitchen, a hummingbird stops me in my tracks, hovering two feet away from my face. I am staring at the little creature in utter wonder and counting my blessings to be living in such a paradise. Brushing against the lavender with my legs as I’m proceeding toward the house, releases an explosion of childhood memories at grandma’s house. Dear ‘Kleine Oma’ (german for little grandma) who loved so sacrificially and died so alone. Brushing away the tears, refusing to give way to sorrow and pain, I look around and thank God instead for all this beauty that HE has created. There are piercing blue and glowing magenta asters, jewel-orange mums, and pumpkin-spice orange zinnias. There are towering Mammoth Sunflowers, which the neighborhood birds come in droves for and bullying grasses and willows for them to hide in. highlights of screaming citrus orange marigolds, and splashes of yummy hot pink phloxes create a symphony of color, a concert for the eyes.

I hear the school bus, three o’clock already? I wasted my entire day and still no dinner! It’s insane how much time is lost on this garden, not to mention how much money it has cost over the years.

The kids are coming up our driveway, stopping to pick some juicy strawberries that grow in four beds in-between the irises and daylilies. Killer, our four-month-old Sheltie, is coming to greet them, along with Mr. Mustache, and Za Za our cats. Laughing, they stoop down to pet and play with them. What a happy bunch, what a great place!

As I go to bed, I long for my garden in which I can do both, lose and find myself again.

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