Fish in the Grass

Heavy rains make weeds grow freely

but

also easier to remove.

Rainstorms

flood the pond.

Fish are swimming in the yard.

Not so lucky for them

but the heron is happy for food

and the grass will be fertilized.

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Photo by Tyler Butler on Unsplash

This is my gardener’s perspective on a Chinese folk story called “An Old Man Lost His Horse – Sai Weng Shi Ma.”

From Taoism to Shakespeare’s, “Nothing is good or bad.  It’s thinking that makes it so,” the lens widens as the circle of learning continues.

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Misfortune, that is where happiness depends;

happiness, that is where misfortune underlies.”

 

Nature Teacher: Change

Look at the movement of the clouds

and understand

life is change.

Don’t waste your time

lamenting

things are not as they were

and will never remain so.

That is not the truth of reality.

Forever cannot be.

Look at the clouds

long stratus

puffy cumulus

and feel their struggle and joy.

Clear skies,

when things are going smoothly, no issues to deal with so to speak,

are also transitory.

Go with the flow,” others say.

The clouds already do.

 

All The Buzz About Bees

I hadn’t realized pollinator week is upon us but am acutely (and sadly) aware that most of the honey — even “organic,” is being reported to be contaminated with the glyphosate of Monsanto’s Roundup.
It’s pleasing to see more people interested in honeybee production but we need to do more — via planting and becoming more vocal — to help these bees stay busy and thrive.  I’ve reblogged this post “All the Buzz about Bees” to see what you can do at home to help them.

P.S. to this post…link to the EU “banning” bee-harming pesticides.  America can learn a lot from the EU’s approach to heathy living.

Giving Voice to My Astonishment

It’s a busy time of year for everyone: spring gardening, spring cleaning, graduations, end-of-year award ceremonies, holiday travel, and a whole lot of other happenings.

IMG_2831My photo of article in Midtown magazine. Photo of bee on flower by Matt Williams.

I’ve been busy working on several upcoming article assignments, and that’s the reason for my lack of writing a recent blog post. So, I thought I’d share an article I wrote for the current issue of Midtown magazine. It’s on a subject that’s near and dear to my heart, pollinators, specifically honeybees (Apis mellifera). Their numbers have been declining due to several reasons, most notably Varroa mite infestation. There is encouraging news, though. Some local beekeepers are starting to see an increase in their colonies. What can home gardeners do to help? Read more about it in my most recent article appearing in the May/June issue of Midtown…

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Loving Your Mothers Days

Actually every day is a mother’s day.   This lifetime commitment isn’t always easy, celebrated, or what you thought it would be.  I’ve been lucky enough to be Bess’ Mom for 13 years but she’s the one teaching me.  Bess is my beloved Border Collie who romps around the garden and shows me how to love all days:

 

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Wishing all mothers happy days!

 

Nature Teacher: Getting Along with Others

You’ve probably been in a situation where you can’t wait to get away from someone’s toxicity.  Maybe it’s a stranger.  Maybe it’s family.  Maybe it’s your employer who you see day after day after day.  You’re not alone.  Nature deals with this too.
daffodilsDaffodils (aka narcissus or jonquils) are often the showy greeters in springtime, yet, like the attractive stranger or successful relative, we often don’t readily see their toxicity.  Daffodils contain toxic lycorine and calcium oxalate crystals and when freshly cut, they emit a virtually invisible but poisonous, gooey sap — similar to insidious commentary from passive-aggressives.  No wonder they usually appear solo in a vase.  But, you can help them get along with others!

daffodils separatedTo create a diverse but happy springtime bouquet, give daffodils a time out before introducing others to the vase.  Cut their stems at an angle and leave them by themselves in a vase of cool water overnight.

The next morning, after most of the sap has seeped out, change the water and safely add other flowers.  Then change the water every few days to maintain the harmony of this mixed bouquet.

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A Non-Religious but Spiritual Palm Sunday

The calendar indicates today is “Palm Sunday.  Being a religious holiday, I often wondered in my youth why it wasn’t called “Psalm Sunday” but as a gardener I’m just as happy to see green palms after a long, grey winter.

And while it’s (sadly) becoming increasingly unpopular and even dangerous to identify Frond-Lwith any religious affiliation, I will say organized religion is not the source of my spirituality.  Yes, I was baptized and confirmed a Christian, but I also practiced Buddhism in my teens, then investigated Catholicism, Judaism, Unity New Thought and A Course in Miracles doctrines.  I have friends of all faiths and of no faith.  I pass no judgment if someone chooses to be religious or not, or the path they have taken to their own spirituality.  What I do have a problem with, though, are acts of cruelty, hate, torture or killing — evil, in the name of religion or God.  So contrary and senseless to me.

Thankfully, I was not raised to believe in a condemning and punishing God but instead one as loving protector.  Studying Taoism and working in nature have deepened my understanding of life and some of the religious teachings of my youth.  To me, all of these sources are akin to tendrils of a plant, offering various meanings and interpretations of life, expanding with my maturity.

Frond-RAs a variety of flowers constitute my garden, and a variety of races and ethnicities constitute the world, I am open to a variety of religions in life.  I do not believe that one religion has all the answers, or that only one particular religion has the only true God.  I believe there are as many spiritual roads to God as there are in the names we choose to call Him or Her or whatever is meaningful to the particular person in that particular part of the world.  Opening my mind opens my heart.

And so, today is “Psalm” Sunday for me — spiritual being synonymous with psalm, and psalm being a sacred song.   I acknowledge this day not in blasphemy but in honor of the sacred songs each of us carries in our hearts.  As a gardener, I view this day as the triumphant arrival of Spring, a fresh start after a long winter, the Pre-Easter beginning of infinite life, and with gratitude for the richness Mother Nature offers.  I believe God is everywhere as in nature, but also in our hearts.  And in the end, isn’t that all that really matters — what is in our hearts?


“…Every day something new

Open mind for a different view

And nothing else matters…”

 

Happy Psalm Sunday!

I Wonder…

I wonder how healthy Americans would be if:

  • The government gave everyone $2,000/year to spend on the preventive care of their choice.
  • Western medicine would partner with the wonders of alternative, eastern, and non-traditional medicine.
  • Big Pharma and lawyers stopped advertising.
  • Insurance companies allowed patients to select their own doctor, and gave doctors enough time to develop a knowledgeable relationship with their patients.
  • Medical schools taught diet and nutrition rather than what scripts to write.
  • The primary goal of medical students was to heal.
  • Doctors changed their focus from disease to creating optimal health.
  • Health, senior and child care workers were better trained and paid.ripple effect of good health
  • Restaurants stopped super-sizing portions.
  • Government agencies denied the use of harmful chemicals, pesticides, hormones, preservatives, additives, etc. in our food supplies.
  • Politicians worked “for the people” rather than the special interests they serve.
  • Technology stopped directing people to be lazy or on overload.
  • Manufacturers produced quality products that lasted.
  • Businesses discarded voice mail and returned to employing and training “people” to help customers.
  • Hollywood stopped making violent movies and video games.
  • Parents interacted with their children as a family and limited screen time.
  • We connected with nature and respected our environment.
  • As a nation, we showed personal pride in our person and how we treat others.
  • Everyone took personal responsibility for their own health.

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Perhaps my response should have been to a Daily Prompt on “What I Know” rather than via Daily Prompt: Wonder

Nature Teacher: Apologies

Tree boughs lie pummeled to the ground,

shrubs remain paralyzed with ice

like lingering stinging words

from tormenting razor-sharp winds

and a staccato of angry snow piercing the air.

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Apologetic vivid blue skies and dazzling sunshine

appear the next day

as the bouquet offered after an argument

yet tangled branches of bewilderment remain.

Time sometimes softens deep wounds.

Some rebound.

Some do not.