Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Daffodils-a cheerful legacy

 rock creek parkway

Everywhere you look these days, there are brightly colored daffodils, cheering on the Spring.  Covering the hillsides, bobbing in the flower beds of all the neighbors, they charm us outdoors into the sunshine.

Each time I see them I am reminded that until just a few weeks ago, there was nothing to be seen on that very spot--No indication of life. Early spring flowers are a vivid reminder that things are happening just under the surface all the time. Things we can't imagine, things we have forgotten, things we don't know and can't yet see.  Just around the corner, moments from now, something that has been growing unseen all year, may  be revealed in a place that otherwise seemed barren.  So aside from cheer, Daffodils are also tiny beacons of hope. When planted en mass, they look like stars scattered in the green grass.

As I mentioned in a post last spring, bulbs are an investment for the gardener, but they are also a legacy.  Long after we stop being present to tell our stories, the bulbs continue dividing and producing blossoms on the hillsides of history.

In the latest issue of Garden Design Magazine Susan Heeger writes of Daffodils,"...American pioneers carried them west--even today, streams of daffodils mark spots where pioneer farmhouses once stood."

Washington, DC and its inhabitants carry a pioneering, story-telling spirit.  Each Spring, the daffodils encourage us to embrace this spirit-- forging bravely ahead and leaving graceful reminders of our adventures for posterity.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Until you succeed...

Orchids at the entrance

This weekend I attended the Philadelphia Flower Show.  This is the largest indoor flower display in the world!  It takes place for one week each spring in Philadelphia, PA.  Dresses, hats, store windows, jewelry, patios, even people are on parade, all made----completely of flowers! (Imagine the fragrance) Additionally there is a myriad variety of vendors, tempting you with their beautiful plants, cut flowers and handmade wares.

This brings me to a confession: 

I'm sad to report that a few weeks after I wrote the ballet and the bonsai -- whether it was lack of sun or over-watering on top of the stress from being neglected by the Nutcracker---my Cerissa Rose Bonsai bit the dust...

Nevertheless, in true warrior fashion, I am determined to succeed. This weekend, at the flower show, I bought a tiny new sapling, another Cerissa, this time a different variety.  (I'm sure I've already stressed the poor thing out by transplanting it, wiring it and over watering it, so cross your fingers for a sunny day to help dry it out and get it acclimated to its new surroundings.)

So, what does that mean for the lessons learned in the ballet and the bonsai? What is the point if the little tree didn't make it after all?  The point is -- you don't give up.  You just try again.  Until you break an old habit, until you make a new one. Until things become clear. Until you learn. Until you succeed. You just try again. 

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.


-Winston Churchill