Friday, December 9, 2016

Diamond Frost in Hawai'i

While standing outside my B&B in Maui last month, i admired an 8-foot tall shrub with white lacy flowers that looked sort of familiar. The name clicked the next day. Diamond Frost euphorbia--an 8-inch tall annual that i use as an edging plant. I also like to winter it over because of the constant bloom of those white lacy flowers.

I broke off a familiarly-shaped leaf to confirm my suspicions, and the stem bled a milky white sap. Yep. Euphorbia--with a two-inch thick trunk. How many years old is this shrub? Much, much older than my little plants in flowerpots on the front step.

When we place our minds in the right conditions, our mind will bloom profusely. That's what happened to me while i was on retreat in Maui.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Really Big Pine Cones

When we were traveling in northern, northern California and southern Oregon last summer, i stopped on the roadside and picked up some pine cones. Really big pine cones that were 16 inches long! These are the cones of the sugar pine.

My women's group has an annual wreath making party, so i took my bag of sugar pine cones and big fat Jeffrey pine cones to give to my dear women friends.

One sugar pine cone remained. I brought it home and spray-painted it with silver glitter. Add one bow and some Christmas balls, and voila! A centerpiece, which i gave to my step-daughter's family as a Christmas present, since we've already had our Christmas with them.

The joy of giving. And i especially love giving homemade gifts, made with love.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Laying Down Tracks

It snowed a couple of days ago, and i rushed out of the house before i shoveled the front step. A day later, my footprint is frozen in place.

This trace of yesterday's step is a good description of karma. We are laying down the tracks for our neural networks all the time. Listen to the news, feel afraid or angry, and thereby build the habit of fear or anger. Feel grateful for the blessings of your life today--beautiful snow, for instance. Spend 30 seconds enjoying the snow and begin to build the habit of joy and happiness.

What track, what trace do you want to leave behind for tomorrow? And the day after that? And the year after that?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mums Still Blooming

My neighbor's mums are still blooming beautifully on her front porch. My mums are long since dead and thrown onto the compost pile.

Some of us live a long time and outlast others of our generation. My 94-year-old hospice client complains that she only has one friend remaining--her beautician who lives 3 hours away in the town they both grew up in.

These beautiful mums still bloom.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Tropical Plants in the Tropics

My sweetie and i are vacationing in Hawai'i for a week. Croton, ginger, and bird of paradise are growing right outside the door of the condo we are renting for a few days.

Oh, how i love to see these "houseplants" in their native setting. They look so happy and vigorous. I used to aspire to growing these tropical plants at home, but now the sight of tropical plants in the tropics is enough to make me want to stop growing these plants at home. Their cousins in the North Country--at least in my solarium--are pale and leggy by comparison.

We are at our best when we put ourselves in the proper environment to grow the beautiful qualities of mind we want to grow. Sometimes that means not listening to the news.

Or, if we decide to listen to the news, take it in teaspoonsful and antidote any negativity with 5 teaspoons of goodness.

This week, the good i am focusing on is being on vacation with my sweetie and luxuriating in the tropical foliage i love.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Blooming Late in the Season

Today i walked through the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland Oregon with a 91-year-old friend. It's November and rhododendrons are blooming.

I also saw snowdrops and cyclamen.  Throughout the day, i have seen nasturtium, dandelions, chickory, and herb robert. No matter the lateness of the season, some few flowers are beautifully in bloom.

So it is with us. Some of us are still blooming into our 90s. Our friends and relatives have faded and withered away. We alone have somehow survived to enjoy life. This life. Despite feeling rather alone and lonely.