“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke
I’ll bet you imagined it was an animal or bird that you would see peeking around the tree in this photo. In fact, it is me, trying to get closer to a sweet and shy hellebore in bloom — without leaving the path. I was very nearly on tiptoe by the end.
I do try to respect the rules at the Botanical Gardens, even when the most gorgeous flower is just out of reach of my point-&-shoot and no one is there to see me step out of line. Sometimes this calls for enormous reserves of willpower. And sometimes, as today, it results in an unusual effect in a photograph. In this case, the thick, grey bark of the tree blocking my way became a textured edge that I actually liked when I saw it on the screen.
It made me think of how our very personal obstacles in life oftentimes become a pleasing part of the art we are creating with our lives.
But for heaven’s sake don’t tell me this when I am facing the obstacle, itself; I will just be annoyed. Focused as I am on balancing on tiptoe, or busy considering where to place my feet next to somehow sneak by it, or contemplating bending the rules a little to get to where I desperately want to be, the idea that I will find this particular challenge somehow soul-beautifying in retrospect will not be appreciated.
I hope I remember precisely that last part the next time a friend asks me for my honest advice about a tough situation she’s facing. And I hope I remember the first part when I’m the one in the hot seat.
Other than these thoughts, I have nothing more exciting to report than that spring is definitively here. (That’s quite exciting, actually.) I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow. But it is here, really and truly… even though a deep chill still holds the land, too.
After a frost-bitten morning, I bundled up in a heavy coat and layers for my visit to the gardens, not expecting much to have changed since five days ago. Yet plump buds and newborn blooms were lisping poetry wherever I looked, and the fierce winds began blowing away the cobwebs that winter had allowed to grow up in the corners of my soul.
Can both seasons be happening simultaneously? Yes, I think they can. Well, they are, no matter what I think about it. Reality is so markedly subtle, continually defying categorization, despite everything we were taught in school.
I’m glad it does that. It makes life so interesting; don’t you think?
This post originally published on Victory Garden Redux.