Category Archives: gardenias

things that matter

These days of spring are sudden and oh so sweet. The air is filled with fragrance – I, just this morning, noticed the ligustrum trumping the light fragrance of the mimosa and the gardenia. The birds are flying overhead in glorious formations and are singing sweetly to wake me up on Saturdays and Sundays. The honey bees are busy pollinating my garden and cleaning their little feet in the bird bath. It is truly an awakening and so beautiful, divine. It is difficult for me to stay inside these days – those cobwebs I wrote about a while back are still there. Who cares, I have to herald in this glorious season. I have learned a lot about myself throughout these 57 years and I have to finally admit – I am not really good at keeping up the inside of my house. I have to be amongst the flowers and then I have to have time to paint – so there you go…no time for much dusting. Again, I reference Miss Sue and I think of her house and the way she kept it – it was so authentic and wonderful. It was clean but not fussy. The dishes were washed and stacked neatly on the little rack next to the sink, the bed was made, the bathroom was scrubbed, and the laundry was hung out to dry – enough was done. The focus, however, was the outside beauty that found its way inside. The gardenias were in jars in the kitchen in May and the front room smelled of honeysuckle in June and there was a fresh cut magnolia from the tree in the back making the house smell like summer – these are the things that matter to me. I doubt that my children will ever find comfort in a childhood memory of a meticulously clean house, but if they are like me, they will remember the smells of spring and summer there in the kitchen.

I have been writing a memoir about my days with Miss Sue for years (I hope to finish it this summer) and there is a line in there about just this, “…. It was a fresh cut magnolia that would sit on our kitchen counter and forever define the scent of summer for me;  a bunch of gardenias that would make me remember her front porch and the fragrance in the still May air…” . This is what I think matters. But, today, I shall make a huge effort to stay in for a while and do things necessary in here. It is time to change sheets and hang them out to dry, and I want to harness the laundry room and not leave the kitchen til every dish is washed and put away – lofty goals for a day in May! First, I will head outside with scissors and cut gardenias and one perfect magnolia to “define the scent of summer”.

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Good Advice from Two Abes

“Selfishly seek joy, because your joy is the greatest gift you can give to anyone. Unless you are in your joy, you have nothing to give anyway”. 
Abraham Hicks

I thought this might be a wonderful thought to take with you. Sometimes we feel “guilty” when we are happy and someone we know is not. This perspective helps with that interpretation.  I believe happiness  is contagious, a habit, and most importantly, what Abe Lincoln declared, a choice.

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Seeing only the beauty

As an artist, I have never been able to choose a favorite color and as a gardener, I have never been able to choose a favorite season, each offer their own unique gifts. Right now, in the height of spring, I am totally in love with this season. The honeysuckles are there in the woods and climbing on old fence pieces covering the area with their sweet smell and delighting the honey bees. The confederate jasmine is nearly pungent from the fragrance that swirls around in the gentle spring breeze and the gardenia bushes are budding and blooming and their fresh cut bouquets fill my kitchen with the sweetness of their scent and my mind with memories of my mother. Then there is the scattering of dewberries throughout the woods and along the ditches – sweet and wholesome treats from nature there for the picking. I have fought for the control of this landscape that is my yard for years and I have realized that that causes me stress instead of enjoyment. I would go outside and instead of noticing the beauty I would notice the things that needed to be done and I would feel sad instead of happy. Well, all of that has changed – the yard is of course still as it was but my attitude has been adjusted, as they say. It all started with my little garden shed. It began to deteriorate but no time to fix it and I needed it for tomato stakes, fish emulsifiers, clay pots, and Have a Heart traps, so I decided to just let it go and see what nature would do. Well, nature is doing what she does – she is reclaiming it. The vines are woven inside and out, the rains have begun to rot the roof, the dirt has found its way inside from burrowing little animals and there are nests of sparrows and wrens that have settled into the rafters. I love watching this power, this power that nature has. I also realize that what is happening to my little garden shed would also happen to my house and may one day. This natural display is occurring everywhere in my yard and for the most part I can keep things at bay with the lawnmower and my pruners but I do only what I can and enjoy the rest. Of course I remember Miss Sue and her yard – for me it was the most beautiful piece of property on the planet and it was so natural. Nature flowed and she enjoyed the show, choosing to notice only the beauty.

potatoes

hidden

memories

taking over

lantana carried by the wind

garden shed

yesterday

cute

miracles

a community

roses in the mimosa??

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