Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ~A. A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Even as we celebrated the American holiday of Thanksgiving this week, I am mindful that gratitude is seasonless and ever appropriate regardless of temporal circumstances. I have taken a long hiatus from this blog as I dove deep underground for reflection and renewal these past few months. Surfacing into a heavy teaching schedule this fall only complicated matters, yet each day brings something for which I am grateful.
“I have been finding treasures in places I did not want to search. I have been hearing wisdom from tongues I did not want to listen. I have been finding beauty where I did not want to look. And I have learned so much from journeys I did not want to take.” ~Suzy Kassem
There were many moments of beauty in the garden during those months. Flowers bloomed, butterflies graced the garden, and the rain came often to soak the ground and encourage growth and flowering. (click on any photo in the mosaic to see a full size image)
Raindrops on smoke bush leaves
Yellow swallowtail butterfly
Turkey mom and babies
Lower garden in September
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’
Zinnias and Rudbeckia
Two weeks ago, the autumnal light slanted through the woods while the mild fall weather had barely turned the leaves into shades of red and gold.
Arch and maple ‘Bloodgood’
Herb circle in late autumn bloom
Never say there is nothing beautiful in the world anymore. There is always something to make you wonder in the shape of a tree, the trembling of a leaf. ~Albert Schweitzer
Last week, a freezing rain followed by snow turned the woods into a fairy land but bent to the ground many trees that had not yet dropped their leaves.
Angel surveys the snow
The lower garden fairyland
Oak leaves coated with ice and snow
Cornus kousa splayed open
Cornus mas bowed to the ground
Bare branches etched with snow
Grateful that our electric power stayed on, several friends were not so lucky and dealt with many cold days and dark nights. Alas, our white pines suffered damage from the heavy load and lost several branches, crushing a chair beneath them. Fortunately the Chinese dogwoods (Cornus kousa) and Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) trees sprung back up after being bowed to the ground. Resilience in nature is not to be underestimated!
Today’s frigid temperatures revealed roses frozen in mid-bloom and a bounty of rose hips from previous blooms that will feed birds throughout the winter.
Even as people in many parts of our country and our world are in distress, I am aware of my blessings as I write this from the warmth of my home, my sweet Angel curled next to me, my husband serenading us on his guitar. How fortunate I am to have a home, a loving family, a beautiful garden, and meaningful work. Marcel Proust reminds us “let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
May your soul blossom now and through the coming days and please, send a word of thanks to those who have given so much, regardless of circumstances. Heroes walk among us, every day people who give their time, their hearts and sometimes their lives.
Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light. ~Albert Schweitzer
All text and images ©2018 Lynn Emberg Purse, All Rights Reserved, except where noted.