Gardening Grey

A garden is usually vibrant in color — even simple whites pop against lively green leaves like lilies of the valley.  But, have you noticed the greys?  Dusty miller wears yellow flowers while lamb’s ears show off pinkish-purple spikes.  There is no “all or nothing.”  Like life.  Like the Tao.

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Taijitu (symbol for yin-yang concept)

 

Look closer at that familiar symbol for yin-yang.  It is often identified as positive/negative, dark/light, female/male, etc., etc., yet in reality that is not entirely true.  There is more to it.  Like life.  Like Tao.

In my busyness, I thought this symbol meant opposites.  But, in waking up, I see the 2 small dots of opposing colors within each section.  There is no complete 50/50, black/white, one or the other.   Each has some of the other, and each needs the other to become whole.  Life, for me,  looked different then.

And the garden continues teaching me.  About life.  About Tao.  Rain can nourish or flood…beautiful flowers can produce allergens… bees can pollinate and sting!  Day turns to night, perennials bloom and die then return next year, the sun casts shadows (yin is for shade, yang is for sun).   Everything is inter-related.  Look at the white sunlight that produces the varied colors in a rainbow.  There is so much to life, so much in between; it’s not all grey.

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The Flow

I am better off, my days are better off when I begin in the flow of Qigong.  Years ago I practiced Svaroopa Yoga.  Its deep relaxation served me well.  But, then I tried Qigong and my life really started to change.  I love the cyclical flow of energy — be it in my environment or person.  This morning practice is my wake-up — of energy and to life.  Naturally progressing to readings from the Tao, my life transformed into a new philosophy of living, thinking and breathing.  Being a gardener, the Tao deepens my connection to nature which has deepened my understanding of life.

“Tao is the process of nature by which all things change and which is to be followed for a life of harmony” so Merriam-Webster says.

If you are unfamiliar with Qigong I encourage you to sign up for the free monthly Qi Talks from the National Qigong Association.  Their site is full of useful information like detailing what Qigong is, determining your energy composition, finding a practitioner who can teach you the movements, etc.  And if there is no one in your locale, you can always try a DVD or visit YouTube.  My favorite DVDs are Daisy Lee-Garripoli ‘s Radiant Lotus Qigong   She also has videos on YouTube.

Like Yin and Yang, I find these practices produce a more gentle yet exuberant way of living life.  Do you practice Qigong or the Tao?  I’d love to hear your experience and how it’s influenced your life.

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Moth Meditation

Moth

Walking to the garden this evening, this little beauty caught my eye resting on the window screen.  I was so taken by the intricate wing and body  pattern that I ran to get the camera.  Take a good look at the lines, circles, color variations and textures from smooth to frayed edges.  Maybe you’ll be mesmerized too.

And if you have any comments or guesses on identifying this insect I’d love to hear from you.Moth-b

Savoring Sunday’s Symphony

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Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony No. 8

 

Guilt

slips in

and around

the cool morning breeze

for taking time

to slip into

my favorite summer chair

and be

in Sunday morning.

A confident breeze eases the heat

on my sun-warmed skin,

stroking my cheek

with the only classical music

absent of customary stuffiness —

Mozart, Bach, Gershwin, Schubert’s “Unfinished” symphony no. 8

that speak to me.

My eyes lock

on the blooming garden

framing a photo

in my mind.

Plants grown tall

like children —

spires of yellow and false indigo baptisia

3′ bearded iris and phlox

electric blue-violet geraniums

and newborn pink roses

sway in a wave of color

Garden July 2015 037 chair662015 Landscape 065 baptisia gardenbearded iris99 Dana Street 027662015 Landscape 179 blue geraniumGarden chair

blending the whoosh of cars

with the wind,

an airplane speck roaring across the sky,

piano keys amidst tinkling and wooden chimes…

and birds chattering

in countess dialects

to the crackle of ice

in my juice,

interrupted

by the boom-boom base

of a teenager’s car

thankfully passing by…

It’s a privilege to take time

and savor Sunday morning.

Listen

and “be.”

Just be.

Set aside

the long heard demands

of productivity

rushing me

at this address.

Nature Doesn’t Need a Smartphone

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The peonies are blooming now.  This is how I mark my time.  I do not use a “smart” phone but rely on Mother Nature.   The late May calendar shows white and lavendar colored phlox, lilies of the valley, and deep purple, almost black columbineWild geraniums dot the pachysandra, and grandfather rhododendron (15′ high) arrived for their Memorial Day spectacular.

Foxglove, mugwort, irises, roses, and astilbe will join others to color my pages of June.  Sometimes I can hardly wait.  But then I catch myself to breathe in the beauty of the moment.