Gardeners strive for beauty.
We work endless hours, season after season, and year after year. Designing, planting, and tending to our gardens. With the hope that we can capture some moments of perfection.
Moments where we sigh and experience a sense of ‘something other’ than our regular state of being.
Where the exquisiteness overwhelms us.
But if we limit our perception of what constitutes beauty, we close down to the possibility of what might be.
Look at what our culture teaches us.
Women are told from the time we’re young that we can cover imperfections with the right make up and clothes. As we grow older, we work hard to look younger. We’re rarely satisfied.
Our gardens are no different. We have a pre-conceived notion of what we want them to be. I understand why.
After all, who doesn’t love the first flush of sweeping bulbs in early spring?
Our May and June gardens, filled with peonies, irises, roses, and alliums, grab our heart.
Our summer gardens with their parade of flamboyant colors take us by surprise. Veggies, tropicals, and annuals grow as quickly as Jack and the Bean Stalk. One day they’re babies, the next day they’re towering over us.
In recent years we’ve been taught to grab onto the coattails of autumn. To squeeze the last of its rich colors, smells, and chilly, crisp days.
As we approach late fall, luscious magazines spill over with spreads of winter gardens …serene, and elegant. A still life painting. A new kind of beauty that gives us pause for thought.
|Abbey House Gardens|
But how many of us actually take the time to gaze at weaving dead asters with snow nestled at their feet? Or a solo straw colored grass in mid-winter trying to maintain its stature in a stark landscape? A lifeless sunflower ?
For all of you who wish your winter garden away, a suggestion. Give yourself the gift of nature this time of year. Imperfection and death are a part of the natural rhythm of the universe.
Become familiar with its unique beauty. Appreciate it for what it offers. The cycles and imperfections of our gardens are a great metaphor for what we should strive for in our lives.
Dealing with the things that really matter.Accepting our own flaws and growing older. And ultimately surrendering to our mortality.
Remember that your garden…and you….are perfectly imperfect.
That’s my New Year wish for you. A healthy and beautiful 2012!