Friday, June 2, 2017

Peace Lily

I almost passed by, on a gentle evening or so past, this small vignette but I paused, paused to look further and experience the quiet grace of my garden.  Struck by the beauty, captured by the color, entranced by the play of light on textured leaf, I seized the moment, and in doing ceased purpose and goals, carpe diem.

"Enjoy the moment," the ancients advised.  Pluck the day and live it.  I do little enough of that in my garden, forgetting in the bustle and work of gardening to find the purpose of the garden, its raison d'être.  Does the garden exist for my pleasure or as my master?

Through the work week, I plan for the weekend.  "When can I mow the lawn again?"  "That daylily bed needs weeding."  "I should start the squash indoors on Saturday." "I need to find something to plant in that empty spot." "I need to water the tomatoes."  As if the function of the garden was to fill the empty space of Saturday and Sunday, to keep boredom at bay, to parry purposelessness.  So I speed into Saturday, scurry and scuttle through Sunday, yet secretly yearning for calm.

If I were asked, "What single experience or desire is shared among all gardeners?" the answer would lie in this photo, this first Asiatic lily of the year, this day shining from the darkness.  It is not the pure white peace lily of lore, but it is peaceful nonetheless.  Shaded by a large viburnum and tall Rugosa, struggling for light and moisture, yet protected from the glaring sun, its dark red, regal presence stands scribe to life's glories, testament to Earth's treasures.  I paused to its purpose, a reminder to seek the silence and solace in the quiet places of the garden.   I listened to its lesson, to recharge from the energy found in dark bower, in dappled shade, and green shelter.  I came away refreshed with new purpose, to remember always that the garden exists to pleasure the gardener, not to enslave him, To free him and feed his spirit, not to fatigue him.  To nourish the soul that yearns only for beauty and peace.

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