Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blinded By The Light

I was blinded by the light
The white reflection from my skin
Was such a frightful sight!

Ha! Ha! Joanne and I were both commenting on the paleness of our Canadian skin, Saturday, when we put on our shorts and T-shirts for the first time this year. It was a beautiful and sunny day and I spent about five hours digging and planting in my garden.

It’s incredible how strong and destructive a simple thing like a flower can be. Over the last fifteen years – I would estimate – Day Lilies have slowly expanded beyond the neighbour’s garden, where they were planted, to overtake the edge of our asphalt driveway. About four inches of asphalt has been turned into small bits of rubble during this time. I decided to dig up all of these flowers to give them a more appropriate living space in another part of my garden. In a few weeks I’ll be preparing to fix the edge of our driveway.

I’ve learned that these types of flowers really enjoy living closely with other flowers of the same species. They are very community oriented Day Lilies! When I transplant them I try to keep them in small groups of five or six. Next year each small group will double in size and in four more years this whole patch will have filled in quite nicely. It’s a shame that I’ll never see the benefits of my work… Joanne and I will soon be buying a house – keep fingers crossed – and I’ll have to start building another new garden.

Whenever and wherever I happen to be doing my gardening, I’m always thinking of the future. I try to create a garden that will become self-sufficient with spring flowers that grow between the summer hostas that are surrounded by flowers that bloom in the fall. Eventually these gardens will need very little work – just a bit of maintenance that doesn’t take a great effort. This philosophy that I live by is one that I want the whole world to evolve into. “Work hard in the present, with an eye towards the future.” If our city planners and council members thought like this then we might just see our cities expanding into healthy and sustainable communities, instead of the subdivisions and malls that are sprawling across our countryside – a problem that the future will have to deal with. Wouldn’t it be better to build our communities so that the future simply has to maintain them instead of having to ‘deal’ with them.

While I was keeping busy getting covered in dirt, Joanne spent time doing the laundry and later she bbq’d a most delicious dinner. There’s nothing more flavourful than bbq’d veggies sprinkled lightly in oil with a bit of spice. With the weather finally being warm and pleasant we got our clothes drying racks out of winter storage.

As you can see, they are very simple in design, allowing many places to hang our clothes. Usually our underwear and socks get hung on the inner rows – so they are not in full view, with jeans and such being hung on either end, leaving the top-middle section for T-shirts. Both of our racks were given to us and each time we use them – which is from now ‘til some time in October - we save close to four dollars in quarters. By the end of the year we will have saved close to one hundred dollars and saved lots of electricity that we didn’t use. If other people acted in similar ways then I’m sure that the amount of electricity that could be saved would be quite substantial. Instead, I’ll often see people in their automobiles, idling at intersections with their air conditioning on full blast while they roll down their windows to complain about the heat to their friends. Seems a little crazy to me!

This is one of the areas of the garden that I worked in last week. Already, the Daffodils have started to bloom. It may not look like much, right now, but it will soon be very full of green things and colourful flowers. I mixed the Daffodils with some Tulips and even tho’ only a few flowers will bloom this year, next year each small grouping will see four or five flowers growing. Just behind these flowers, I’ve planted a few small patches of hostas. Each hosta will grow to cover about four square feet of garden – they really fill out the space - and they have very lovely flowers that grow above the broad leaves. Along the back of the fence I’ve transplanted many groups of Day Lilies. They will bloom in the middle of summer with bright orange flowers that grow to about four feet from the ground.

If you look closely at the Nature that surrounds us, you will often times see symbols that can be adapted into our everyday lives. This Daffodil, for example, got slightly damaged while I was splitting apart the bulbs. The stem of the flower broke and yet the flower bud still continued to grow to the best of its ability. We can use this symbol to empower us to realize that sometimes life’s shortcomings are not meant to halt our growth but rather make us try even harder to be as successful as we can be.

This is another example that I noticed just the other day. This small flower ended up growing through a tiny hole in a leaf that fell on the garden, last fall. The flower does not have enough strength to break ‘the chains that hold us back’ but this does not stop the flower from continuing to grow – to be a unique individual. Maybe it won’t ever break from these bonds so the flower has learned to grow with these bonds.

These examples are what many ancient Native legends talk about when they refer to ‘the truth that is found in the soft breeze, and in every leaf.’ When we find the truth in Nature we become closer to who we are meant to be and not the person that our commercial society tells us we should be.


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