Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nibbled Broccoli

Look closely to see the 3 nibbled-off stems
Since my vegetable garden is looking quite disreputable this summer, i bought a 6-pack of broccoli for 99 cents. I put it on my front step, and when i went to plant it 3 days later, 3 seedlings were nothing but stems.

Oh, those rascal chipmunks! They didn't even wait until i planted the broccoli. And really, why should they? It's so much handier to nibble them in the 6-pack. After all, we buy things in 6-packs at the grocery too.

Our good intentions to meditate every day get nibbled off by this to-do and that to-do.

If we are ever going to harvest the insights of our spiritual life, we have to plant ourselves on the cushion. Today.

Today i'm planting all those broccoli. Even the nibbled-off stems.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

White Poppies

Annual poppies (Papaver somniflorum) have reseeded themselves in my cutting garden for years. I cut these watermelon-colored beauties every morning during the last week of June and the first 2 weeks of July.

When i saw a 6-pack of white poppies, i grabbed them for my white garden. They are blooming now--big, beautiful blooms that the bees love. I counted 7 bees in each flower rushing around through the forest of stamens as if they wanted to be first. "Me first. Me first." As if they were drunk on desire. More. More. More.

I often feel this way myself about food. Eating out, a beautiful plate is delivered to my table, and i'm already making plans to order more. In reality, i can't even eat everything on my plate. I always take food home.

I can also feel this way about shopping, though i tire of clothes shopping quite quickly. Plant shopping is my major downfall. Perhaps you know something about this yourself.

Notice desire in the body, the rush toward more and more. It's delicious! But then notice that it stops tasting delicious; a numbness sets in; and habit impels us forward into more. What was pleasant has become slightly unpleasant. Notice this little detail.

The busy bees are buzzing. More. More. More



Saturday, July 1, 2017

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Hail the Size of Beans

Hail pounded my metal roof a couple of days ago, making an awful racket. The hail was the size of beans, although it looked like mothballs bouncing around in the rain.

I was surprised the hail didn't damage more plants. Some plants, like my annual poppies, stand straight up, while various weeds lay on the ground looking pummeled.

What keeps us straight and steady when stress is hailing down all around us? Yet another friend has lung cancer. Someone else is having a replacement heart valve replaced again.

These super-stress events call for compassion and equanimity. The pummeling hurts, and it is impermanent. Weather changes--it comes and goes. Our internal weather also changes.

But while it's hailing, it hurts. Place your hand on your heart. And breathe.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Forest Skyline

A few years ago, I bought a cup on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands in Washington state. This is my favorite cup, though its colors are not my usual colors.

And then, this week, I "saw" for the first time that this cup is the same colors as the sky and the forest. In fact, its abstract edginess even looks like the forest skyline.

This is what perception does: enables us to re-cognize something familiar, something with which we have associations. In reality, the cup is about sky and forest as much as a cloud looks like a camel. Perception comes and goes and enables us to get along in the world, but when you look closely has no real reality.

Never mind. I still love this smallish cup of green and blue.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Black Lace Elderberry

This week, the plant i'm in love with is Black Lace Elderberry with its creamy pink flowers.

A few years ago, i gave up gardening on one of my hillside gardens. Of course, i didn't exactly give it up altogether. I planted shrubs, so i could let the understory do whatever it wants.

I placed the dark burgundy foliage of Black Lace next to the chartreuse foliage of physocarpus, aka nine-bark. The effect is spectacular. And i don't have to do anything. I'm not weeding in there.

This is the benefit of renunciation. In this case, less gardening is more pleasure. Beautiful.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

North Wind Maple

For the past month, i've been talking about and shopping around for a Japanese maple for my moss garden. I finally bought a threadleaf  variety a couple of weeks ago.

Last week, while i was on retreat, my sweetie reported to me that a box with a Japanese maple had arrived in the mail. Wow! I better watch out what i ask for! I don't think of myself as a "manifester," but it has happened a few times this past year. My brother, who prays to God for an hour and a half every morning, can manifest amazing things, but i don't have that kind of relationship with the divine.

Because i'm a member of the national Garden Writers Association, a nursery in Oregon sent its members (its northern members?), a cold-hardy North Wind Maple. This is a cross between a Korean maple and a Japanese maple, but
I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth.

An unexpected gift is a gift. Thank you Iseli Nursery!