TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

I’m not sure what I spent my time on so far this year, but I just noticed it was NOT posting on my website! January 1st? It couldn’t have been that long ago…! But the internet NEVER lies. My life must be awfully barren… like this bleak landscape

4-18-15 peony w bgYet what if I take a closer look? Actually I could tell the landscape was alive, just not with anything I could recognize or want to get too close to. This was a weed if ever I saw one. Something I wouldn’t want to eat and risk dying from some mysterious plant poison or even touch and get a rash that could eat off my flesh.

It took my COURAGEOUS curiosity to take that closer look. I’ve heard of enough things lately far more dangerous than a stationary growth in my backyard to know I couldn’t be too careful wherever I was or not expect the worst from whatever I saw no matter how insignificant or innocent it might appear. Sort of like my seemingly lackluster activities so far in 2015, though I’m certain I’ve been busy. Something to reflect a bit closer on too I suppose before I instantly make negative judgments.

Oh my, what a discovery! Beautiful and rare, generating envy from those who4-17-15 NATIVE brown peony have enough experience to know what things truly are. It’s a native Brown Peony. It can’t be cultivated or mass-produced. It grows and blossoms when, where, and exactly how it knows to… just like me… and you.

PS: Take a closer look. See its little buds ready to open and amaze!

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Autumn’s Rainbow Nymph

Where did summer go? The better question is what were BLOSSOM and I doing all summer? It obviously wasn’t writing. Since my last post w-a-y back on The 4th of July, I thought I was busy, though I couldn’t prove it. I set writing goals. My deadlines came and went. I had great new blog ideas ready to crank out. At this moment I can’t remember any of them. I suppose I just wasn’t inspired enough, so BLOSSOM had no alternative but to go dormant for the season too.

Being a Master Gardener I know that’s not the time to slack off. Summer is the time for planting, pruning, and popping. Time for growth and major change. And that’s what happened, just without my participation. Not only did my writing stop, but so did my gardening. It’s a good thing Mother Nature didn’t wait around for me to give her a hand. She POPPED up everywhere without any help from me. I was aware enough to notice the changes and I did marvel at all HER energy. I just didn’t have any of my own or as I often told myself, “I didn’t find the perfect idea today.” Not an idea to put on paper or flower to cut or weed to pull. Now that’s pretty barren!

I felt like I did years ago when I first got the idea for BLOSSOM. I was at a low point in my life then. It was February and I sat alone in a mountain cabin at 10,000 feet looking out at nothing but a barren cold white landscape. I thought, “In a few months this lifeless scene will be a green meadow covered with every color of wildflower imaginable. It will be filled with birds and critters and amazing sounds, smells, and activity. How does Mother Nature do that, and since SHE does it for the wild world would she do it for me?” Life eventually returned to the mountain and to me and BLOSSOM was a new part of that returning life.

That’s how I felt this summer, except instead of lifelessness, I was surrounded by an explosion of life, none of which I had a hand in, at least not this summer. Maybe Mother Nature was trying to show me what is possible. Flowers grew in abundance where they’d never been before. Hummingbirds appeared in greater numbers and butterflies fluttered everywhere. As summer came to an end I realized I’d seen an example of how life goes on whether I decide to be part of it or not.

That realization still wasn’t enough motivation. What was I waiting for? Why the Autumn Rainbow Nymph of course!

morning rainbow girl 11-13-14 shadow correct 4 WP My landscape had turned brown and the overcast sky yielded neither rain nor snow. Inspiration was still rare. Then I woke up, LITERALLY. My bedroom window faces the mountains and a deep green forest.  One morning when I opened my eyes, right in the middle of that view I saw a rainbow. It was coming out of the trees so close I thought I could touch it. I raced for my iPhone to document the sight before it vanished, then raced outside to get a clearer photo and better viewpoint. And there she was – right at the base of the rainbow! Talk about “a pot of gold”. This image is more than a “sign” to me. It’s a “blessing”. With her star wand christening the changing season with a rainbow, I SAW and FELT a change in the air and in ME. What grows and BLOSSOMs in the winter? I DO. Keep reading my blogs and see me bloom like a Christmas Cactus!

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MOTHER NATURE’S LESSONS

lab 6 str sml180This is a picture of my backyard and the labyrinth I completed yesterday. I started its construction in earnest recently after a couple of years of dreaming, designing, and false starts. The good news is after truly working on it with my brain and my back, I got it to this point in a little under a month. The bad news is that’s at a snail’s pace compared to the speed of Mother Nature’s handiwork.

Unlike most of the country, where I live in Reno, Nevada, winter didn’t come.We didn’t get the foot winter1crop180deep ground cover of snow I’m used to. I wouldn’t give up on the hope of snow though and by mid-March I still hadn’t cleaned up the dead growth I’d left to protect my plants from the typical harsh winter weather. Snow was supposed to be hiding this ugliness from my view. Finally it was time for me to get to work, clean up my landscape, and accept that Winter was over and Spring had arrived. I had a lot of work to do in a short amount of time. Growing season would arrive soon or so I thought. I put on my gardening jeans, hat, and gloves and literally dug in to prepare the ground for my plants to awaken from hibernation.

spring2crop180

What I discovered to my surprise was that Mother Nature had started without me. While I was still praying for winter, she KNEW it wasn’t coming and without my knowledge or input had already started her magic. Here’s what I found within minutes of clearing last year’s remains. It was obvious that with or without my help or hard work, Mother Nature was on the job and on schedule. What a relief to know that the world continues on pace because a loving Mother who provides for us whether she’s noticed and appreciated or not. A lesson learned.

But back to my labyrinth. I worked quickly to uncover the new growth in my yard once I saw Mother Nature hadn’t waited on me. It needed to be done fast so I could get busy on my labyrinth before the ground “naturally” dried into a hard shell and my dream project would be delayed for another year. My labyrinth work also needed to be done fast because I had to remove and replace each rock from ground that every warming day was more determined to hold in place what had resided there for thousands of years.

At last, yesterday my backbreaking, but spiritual, job was complete enough to photograph. I knew it wasn’t perfect or finished to the point I’d envisioned… and then I stopped, looked up, looked around, and realized Mother Nature’s next lesson. She teaches so many lessons if we just pay attention and this is my “Labyrinth Lesson”. While I was working hard and fast to complete my mission, she was continuing to grow those plants I’d uncovered weeks earlier. No pressure, no stress. There was no concern about them being perfect or finished. Mother Nature was simply doing and showing how life is supposed to be lived. I understood my labyrinth, like my life, will never be perfect or finished, and that’s the way it’s always been. I just didn’t know that until I build a labyrinth.

 

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BLOSSOM – An OFFICIAL Spirited Woman!

official Spirited Woman Top 12 book pick list small

Today, BLOSSOM, A Flower’s Journey was picked as one of Spirited Woman’s Top 12 Spring Equinox Book Picks. Just as exciting for me is this happened on BLOSSOM’s birthday. My picture book focusing on courage when facing change, launched one year ago on the 2013 Spring Equinox. What a wonderful 1st year gift! Visit BLOSSOM and the 11 other wonderful Spirited Woman books on their link.

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25 Year Milestone

My magical nephew turns 25 today – somewhere in Europe. Matty truly is magical, a professional magician, on a 3-month tour with other amazing illusionists. He’s certainly disappeared from my radar screen. His most astonishing feat for me was gently guiding me through the maze of website building – and getting a professional web-master to appear! Thank you for your “sticky bar” idea Matty. You can see how talented AND handsome he is by going to his link in my Resources. Happy Birthday Matt Cooper! Here’s some of the party from last week for you and BLOSSOM.

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