* Yea, yea… I know it's spelled "Hasta". 😉
As a child, we would hold the yellow head of a young dandelion under our chins to see if there was a reflection – the verdict being that if it reflected a golden hue, you liked butter. Butter! Who knew?! As the weeks wore on, the yellow flowers turned into seed heads which we would carefully pick then blow, giggling excitedly as the white puffs dispersed in the breeze. (We didn't realize that our actions were helping to propagate the pesky weed…) I remember commenting once to my partners-in-crime that the dandelion flower looked like it was really tiny little arrows. The boys just laughed at my observation, then punched me playfully in the arm. Boys.
For the next 20+ years, I seldom noticed the details of the world around me, focusing instead on the larger picture. The 80's were self-obsessed, big-hair years, I'll admit that. The 90's brought change and several events opened my eyes and mind… The demise of my relationship with JB (I had become a person who I didn't like to be around), a life-affirming trip to San Francisco (is it possible to have a religious experience while touring Alcatraz or experiencing the surf pounding the shore at a deserted beach?) and a realization that every breath that I take is a gift not to be taken lightly (double pneumonia can be a bitch). My heart, eyes and mind were further opened on September 11, 2001 when life as I knew it ceased to exist and the innocence that so many people clung to evaporated along with the dust of the collapsing World Trade Center towers.
I believe in synchronicity. The title of this post is directly inspired by today's post by one of my favorite bloggers, Lorianne.
I am not a Buddhist, although I deeply appreciate the principles of this religion. The fact is that I feel more Buddhist than Catholic. But I've failed miserably at my exploration of the Buddhist path. I'm not too great of a Catholic, either, having fallen away from the church half a lifetime ago. Wanting to be and being are very different beasts.
But every day that I spend observing, appreciating and capturing the beauty and mystery of the world around me is another step closer to enlightenment. I think that's a step in the right direction.
My sojourn into the garden this morning felt rushed. A rain storm was moving in from the west, causing the wind to gust, its darkened clouds quickly stealing my light.
I was disappointed to see that the first Datura bloom of the season that I've had a chance to photograph (the plant is not cooperating with my work schedule – choosing to bloom after I've left for work and wilting before I return home) had been systematically devoured by a malevolent slug-like creature.
We don't use pesticides to rid the gardens of potentially harmful visitors, our belief that all insects/critters have a right to roam our gardens and use the plants as sustenance. Some plant damage is to be expected.
This poor fellow, however, over-stepped the bounds of his host and paid with his life. You DO NOT mess with my beloved Datura!
Perhaps it was this agitation or the resulting moment of violence (and death), but the majority of the photos I took were CRAP. Plain and simple. I'd like to blame it on the camera/lens, but it wasn't their fault. I've noticed a pattern where if my head isn't "in it", the photos tend to come out un-focused, nay, blurry.
Thinking back to this morning, I can honestly say that my mind was un-focused, causing everything around me to be blurry. I'm on vacation for the remainder of the week. Today's weather, while disappointing, was actually wonderful – we needed the rain that fell all morning. Even though I'm on vacation, work-related things are hanging ominously over my head…
And what a BIG eye that is…
The splendid colors of this little fellow caught my eye in the setting sun this evening.
Outside – free to buzz another day. Inside? I have a reputation of being the fastest swatter in the midwest. Although I always feel a bit guilty about ending a life… Pest or not. Truth be told, I will go out of my way to release a wayward fly, spider, ladybug, moth or (gasp) mosquito to the freedom of the outdoors. Oftentimes resulting in the introduction of another pest in the process… Never know if I'll be coming back as an insect in another lifetime – and I sure don't want to push my Karmic luck.
Another sunny day.
I’m not really complaining. However, we really need some rain. It’s been weeks without a soaking rain. Heck, it’s been weeks without a brief downpour.
The farmers need the rain – their fields are turning to dust.
Frankly, the flowers would love an old-fashioned rain. The chlorine in the tap water can’t be good for them…
Or a lovely Oriental Lily…
Spent a rare vacation morning at the Como Zoo and the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory located in St Paul. The zoo was the popular destination for most of the anxious visitors, with busload after busload of daycare kids being led in long lines of yellow t-shirts, red t-shirts and blue t-shirts. We laughed as we watched them being led about in their hand-holding, zig-zagging lines. Just glad I wasn't one of the chaperones. (These poor folks looked bedraggled even before entering the zoo!)
We were the first to arrive at the Conservatory as they opened the doors. Compared to the chaotic throngs of people milling about waiting for the zoo to open its door at 10am, the Conservatory was quiet and very peaceful. The fragrances were sumptuous – the various flowers smelling as gorgeous as they looked.
Can you smell it?
More photos to come….