September 6, 2021 – New Moon. Today is Labor Day, but likely the New Moon is a bigger influence on my inner focus – responding to surrounding ruckus impossible to escape or ignore. Even (maybe especially?) for an Enneagram Nine (aka Peacemaker). This year is not over, and I’m braced for more challenges coming ’round the bend. A new moon (dark moon) suggests pausing, summoning from within courage and inventiveness to cope, to keep going.
I’ve included both before and after images, in reverse order as focus is on current conditions: messy. We have an amazing succulent in a pot on our back porch: Mother Of Thousands. Prolific bloomer from early Spring well into June. We went traveling in July and August, leaving the succulent on its own (they really don’t need much water, and I figured this one might prefer fewer camera invasions) – but a sad sight greeted us on return. Yet, a closer look offered a whole new perspective on renewal in spite of circumstances. Hence this plant becomes my model for coping with a world gone wonky in too many ways this year.
February 2021 blooms – Mother Of Thousands
April 20, 2017. Sharing my morning meander through the yard … and my subsequent indulgence in creating this collage from the morning’s bright spots. April is indeed a beautiful time of the year in central Texas, well worth visual “souvenirs”.
January 11, 2017. I can’t recall a more turbulent November/December than what 2016 dished up. And 2017 promptly slapped down a hard freeze. No more meditative consolation from my landscape! Or so I thought – but observing Buddha and St. Francis staying put in spite of the devastation captured my imagination, and a poem crept in as solace.
And listening to our President’s farewell speech last night gives me resolve to stay put in my stance that we are all in this together, more alike than not, and together we will grow from whatever follows.
October 22, 2016. We have an explosion of morning glory vines alongside the house, so thick they reach over the walkway, tangling in hair and hats of those passing. Some so low the dog pushes them aside with her long nose. It’s a treat to move gently through the profusion. A broken stalks are bound to happen. One came indoors yesterday bearing two full blooms and multiple buds, plopped into a makeshift vase. The largest bud shows promise 24 hours later. (Image taken after mature blooms folded.)
September 22, 2016. This is prime blooming time for Queen’s Wreath aka Coral Vine – affectionately and simply pink vine in my family. I’ve spent many minutes stopped in my tracks admiring and photographing the pink vine these past few weeks. They are a great catalyst to my intentional tendency to slow down and notice what Nature has on display. Our cat Ziggy got into one photo – made me laugh – his intentions at odds with mine.
May 28, 2016. Small drama in the front yard has given me pause. We talked last year of building a trellis for the passiflora (passion flower vine) that hogs the sidewalk leading to our front door. Given a few days it can literally reach across the walk and latch onto the coneflowers. After today’s encounter, that trellis rises considerably on the to-do list!
February 10, 2016. My dad would be 112 today. He loved roses, so I’m smiling at the synchronicity of posting a rose poem today. Perhaps a birthday gift for Daddy; perhaps a Valentine for all. With gratitude to Mom Kendrick, for the rose bushes.
The poem stems from trimming overgrown rose bushes in New Braunfels, and bringing cuttings back for rooting and eventual planting in our Austin yard. These were planted by Gary’s mom when she moved into that house years back. It’s been about that many years since I had rose bushes, and I’m quite eager to see these flourish. Crossing my fingers! I put nine cuttings into pots with rooting hormone. Surely a few will take root and bloom into future poems.
The collage mixes blooms from November with the February bagged cuttings and potted cuttings. If you look close at the center spray of cuttings, red-orange rose hips will beam back at you.
December 25, 2015. Today has been overcast and grey, mimicking traditional Christmas weather. No coats needed, though. The Ruellia appears to be celebrating this longer-than-typical growth season with an abundance of blooms – significant enough to send me back inside for the camera. It is Christmas – I’ll count this as Mother Nature’s gift.
October 31, 2015. On this day given to disguises, what better counter to the madness than an ode to something utterly genuine – needs no mask – offers treats with no subtle insinuation of tricks. I’ll take an hour in the garden with the chard over any amount of time with faux goblins, thank you.
This is another ode prompted by the class I’ve been taking. Enjoy!
July 22, 2015. My partner and I have just completed a walkway that keeps reminding me of a poem I wrote back in 2011 when I was working on a similar walkway, using his favorite hoe to slice into the hard-packed ground and create a recess that could be filled with decomposed granite and limestone slabs. This poem was first published in the anthology di-verse-city 2012, © Austin Poets International, Inc.
The diamond hoe, a marvelous tool for weeding, was relatively new to us in 2011. It was his hoe, his constant companion in the yard, and I was reluctant to use it for fear I’d chip a point. He assured me it was the right tool for the job at hand (he was right) – and using it proved eye-opening in unexpected ways.
The image is a collage of the trusty hoe (unchipped through the digging of much rocky terrain) and the new walkway. Stepping on the walkway, I am mindful of his skill at placing the stones, our joint endurance at digging, hauling, and then filling without cross words. The work was hard. The walkway is a beautiful tribute to our togetherness, and it seems fitting to honor the hoe a second time around.