A Picture of Life

Today’s messy, chaotic, lively and lovely garden picture has moved me. It seems to be a life story, encapsulated there in a few square feet of ground. It is chaos and disorder. There are weeds growing up on the side (one I see is quite large) but probably not everyone that sees them knows that they are weeds. Kind of like those defects we see in ourselves, that others seem unaware of. The pot that needs to be hung and the bag of soil off to the side representing life’s unfinished business. The bit of green glass seems humorous. It has no function, yet is not unattractive. The taro in the back, having just broken ground, will eventually dominate that corner. It gets large and looms over everything there, its huge leaves stealing focus from the pretty things around it.

What you can’t readily see in the picture is important, though. The pot that isn’t hanging yet, was broken. One of it’s plastic hanger straps snapped off at the bottom. Rough handling was the culprit. It sat there on the ground last year, hidden under the looming taro, broken and waiting. This year it has been repaired with a bit of shiny copper wire and will hang above the taro, its flowers stealing the show. And that glass thingy? It was acquired at a flea market. I don’t think the lady there had any idea what it was either. I bought it because it was pretty and toted it home without a clue as to what I was going to do with it. It sat unnoticed on a bench for many months. Then, during a late fall cleanup it was noticed and plopped upside down on a stake that used to have a solar light on it. The light had broken and the stake had done duty for a time as something to tie a floppy plant to. Now the two items, together, enliven that spot during cruel winter and in the summer, hide under the taro, winking at fairies and giving butterflies a place to hide from the rain.

The cannas had a hard winter this year. They came up once and then we had a really late and very hard freeze. It killed them back to the ground. They started over though, and there they are, short, but blooming. The bag of dirt, off to the side, is to fill in a sunken place behind the cannas. I have some balsam plants and zinnia seeds awaiting the dumping of the dirt. So, in it’s way that dirt is indicative of new beginnings. That is not really an unusual function for dirt if you think about it. So. there it is, humor, pathos, perseverance, second chances, fresh starts, a whole panoply of human existence, on three square feet of ground.

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