THE SOUND OF MUSIC


red winged blackbird 2

It’s easy to imagine Rogers and Hammerstein hearing music pouring out of those hills, especially after a Spring rain. Niles is a lovely district tucked up against the hills in Fremont where I live. In the summer the hills are golden with dark green accents of oak in the hollows, where we imagine families of small animals congregate to pass the time of day until the cool of the evening. In Spring after a healing rain, shades of green challenge the painter’s palette, and herds of cattle appear over the crest thankful for Nature’s bounty.

I didn’t hear any music coming from the hills, but Julie Andrews would be happy to know that I saw this intrepid little red-winged blackbird hunching his shoulders and auditioning for a Spring concert.

Each of us, wherever life may have led, has something that sustains us. We won’t find it by looking over our shoulder, but if we’re lucky, it’s forever right beside us, waiting to be called upon.

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by. Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by. (James M. Barrie 1860-1937)

THE SECRET LIFE OF DAISIES


garden gate 3

When I heard that daisies have a secret life, I decided to set out immediately to discover what it is. How dare this common garden dweller have a “secret life”? I soon found out that daisies never tell. Not to be discouraged, I proceeded at once to retrace my steps and lift a few stones along the way.

Through the garden gate to the little haus in the bottom of the garden, I peeked inside to see if there were any trace of a daisy. On my way I found marigolds, geraniums, pelargoniums, roses both prim and not, but not a daisy.

Little House

Painters, sculptors, poets and writers from all over the world have celebrated the garden’s beauty, mystery and frustration it can bring.
red winged blackbird 2
The robin’s song at daybreak
Is a clarion call to me. Get up and get out in the garden
For the morning hours flee.

I cannot resist the summons,
What earnest gardener could?
For the golden hours of morning
Get into the gardener’s blood.

The magic spell is upon me,
I’m glad that I did not wait;
For life’s at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.

I peeked inside and found sunflowers, pots of ivy, mementos from a misspent youth, a few ragtag animal pictures, but not a daisy in sight.

little haus2
This little corner of pleasure bringing comfort to a tired gardener is where I ponder the important chores of my day.

little haus

Out the door, I see the trees are budding, and Spring is nearly upon us. Charlie lounges comfortably on the warm brick, unaware of daisies and their secrets.

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Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom, they just open up and turn toward the light, and that makes them beautiful. Jim Carrey

Gardens heighten nature’s wild language by simplifying it, by sieving its complex messages to extract a choice kernel; a subtle flow of time; a boundary that is and yet isn’t; a balance born of imbalances. We amplify natures messages when we build a garden and in turn the garden awakens us with those thoughts. Sitting and reflecting, drawn into the garden and out of ourselves, we find we are aware of familiar things in ways we weren’t before, granted, if only for a brief moment.

A pleasant hour spent in this garden with its scent of sweet alyssum and roses, laughing at the flight of angry hummingbirds fighting over a single feeder and at the end, not a daisy in sight. Daisies really DO have a secret life.