Love the Green

2008-05-17 17.53.01

If you’re reading a garden blog you are at least dreaming of having a beautiful garden.

No matter that you have only time to mow the grass. No matter that the grass is brown in the heat of summer and covered with snow in winter. No matter that your garden is a couple of pots on the balcony. Somewhere in your imaginings there is a beautiful garden that you have made.

It might be, perhaps, full of roses, or of lavender. It might have shady arbours or a pond surrounded with lush greenery. Or it could have a row of those tall blue flowers whose name you can’t quite remember.

Then reality kicks in. Roses? In this climate?! Are you kidding me?

A pond? I can’t even afford to buy my own apartment!

But if you are reading a gardening blog you have in your mind some tiny piece of plant beauty that is yours already or is within your reach. Is there even  single flower you could pick or buy? Dandelions even, or whatever the common weed is in your part of the world.

Find yourself a flower and let your soul feel the intensity of its colour. Look at the green of its stem and its leaves. Think of its bud and its seeds. Like you, it has a life to live and you are sharing that life.

If you have a garden, or even a few pots, pick one flower and look at it carefully. Name its colour and the shape of its petal – the purple, heart-shaped petal of a pansy, the dusty orange pollen inside a crocus. Can you smell its fragrance? If you touch a petal with your little finger how does it feel? how smooth is its stem?

Try to name the flower and find out more about it on Wikipedia. Have you ever wondered why one kind of leaf is stiff and leathery while another is soft and covered with fine hairs? It’s for protection against the weather or hungry animals – that’s the easy answer. But take time to feel the texture and to think on it.

When you take time to think on the plant or flower you are looking at you are wondering. You have brought your wonder to what you are seeing and feeling. It’s a gift that will open the world to you.

When your eyes skip over the whole garden without seeing anything fully you are missing that wonder. You are allowing that depth of wondering to slide past without being noticed. Maybe right now you don’t have the time.

But there is no richer way to spend time.

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