01 July 2019
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“When you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
At the end of June and as the daylight seems to expand during the fully-engaged summer season, I meander through my gardens to forage for the uprising of jubilant flower heads: florets and larger blossoms that bring a gentle breeze of elation through my body and mind.
And so the image in the Lens section is a blend of those discoveries: flowers that I cultivate. As I meander through the wild and tame, I am drawn without a sense of direction. The flowers appear and I succumb to their charisma. My fingers build a small bouquet, which seems to expand in its appeal as the number of flowers are selected: tiny, medium and larger jewels fit into a symbiotic shape: wildflowers from my (teeny) meadow, annuals, perennials, and volunteers (that appear through happenstance).
My arrangement is intuitive, not calculated, and allows beauties to float and mesmerize. To forage and harvest is to maintain a presence in nature’s sanctuary of the season’s abundance, touching the magical elements of the natural world.
If I linger, then immediate memories take shape. When I proceed, the gathering creates a different kind of meaning and remembrance. Both coalesce around the instantaneous awareness that nature can kidnap our spirits, provides a respite from reality, and brings unknown assurance that life will go forward with or without us.
And so the foraging and harvesting blazes a trail through my interior, calming and transporting me to a place of sweet quiet. While the flowers shout with their colors and designs, I am caught in the gaze and the comfort that they exude: how the wild and the tame, at least in my gardens, coexist.
British nature writer Robert Macfarlane’s new book, Underland, A Deep Time Journey, builds upon his reputation as narrator for nature’s mysteries and triumphs. His writing stirs as it informs. The review in The New York Times by Terry Tempest Williams, who is another seasoned and notable nature writer, entices and made me want to want to immediately read this book. Strangely, I am in the midst of re-reading Macfarlane’s early classic, The Wild Places (2007), which describes some of vast and remote places that still existed in the first decade of the millennium. His reverence for nature is evident as he shares connections that he experiences with the natural world. Macfarlane’s new book expands upon his relationship with the natural world and his ability to lyrically and brilliantly share that bond with us.