I slid on my first long sleeve shirt of the season for my morning walk. Made a pour over cup of coffee and let it sit to enjoy upon my return. Grabbed the letter laying by the front door and once my feet hit the payment, into the mailbox it went.
Brian made a comment about Hallmark cards, but I rarely use them. Writing a letter or jotting a note is an opportunity to search out artists who make them and support their craft. One artist I’ve been hooked on for a while now is David Arms. Some of his cards lean toward Christianity, but not all of them. David’s intention is to convey hope and discovered his artistic gift late in life.
This gives me hope because I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do. Since my daughter left the nest I ponder meaningful ways in which to spend this one, precious life. I’m sharing this 2 minute video in hopes you find it inspiring, because as long as there’s breath in our bodies, we still have a purpose. It surprises David to this day that he’s an artist and he describes it by saying, he didn’t know to hope for it.
To see the feature photo in all it’s glory, hover your mouse, or finger over it. It’s from David’s website here. To view notecards by David Arms, click here.
Standing at the kitchen sink, staring out the window I see God took care of one more thing in my life today. There’s a Bougainvillea hanging under one corner of the house, in hopes it will grow it’s way up onto the roof. It has a couple of long branches reaching that way, but this morning they had drooped from lack of water. It’s on my morning rounds with the watering hose.
After giving it some water I came in the house and started work. I didn’t give the Bougainvillea another thought until now. It soaked up the water and the long branches are tucked up under the roof again. I think it would be beautiful to have Bougainvillea blossoms all over the roof. I don’t know if that will happen, but that’s what came to mind when I hung it there.
God probably has something better in store, but I’m doing my part by keeping it watered. It’s in the right place for endless possibility, but we’ll have to wait and see what transpires. As I walk away from the window back to my desk I smile and think, one can hope.
I stopped by the Water Gardens and saw three of them sitting on the edge of a wood table. Two were in bloom and I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed such delicate beauty making this loud of a statement.
Similar to the pillow mentioned in Feel the Music, there was no need for another plant, but if it could be happy in my yard, I’d literally stare in wonder at it while it bloomed. Three days later, I went back to the Water Gardens and made my way over to where they’d been sitting previously. It blended in with all the other plants on the table, but there was one left. It wasn’t in bloom, but I recognized the foliage and not being in bloom is how it was overlooked.
Last year the yard was all about the bloom, but this year it’s about watching and waiting for that one spectacular moment. There’s nurturing in between every bloom, but the rewards far outweigh the attention given. In the book, Simple Abundance, the author has been talking quite a bit about gardening. This reading is titled The Good Life, and she shares an excerpt from the book, Loving and Leaving the Good Life, by Helen Nearing.
Do the best you can, whatever arises.
Be at peace with yourself.
Find a job you enjoy.
Live in simple conditions; housing, food, clothing; get rid of clutter.
Contact nature every day; feel the earth under your feet.
Take physical exercise through hard work; through gardening or walking.
Don’t worry; live one day at a time.
Share something every day with someone else; if you live alone, write someone; give something away; help someone else somehow.
Take time to wonder at life and the world; see humor in life where you can.
Observe the one life in all things.
Be kind to creatures.
I’ve been helping a woman water the flower beds at church once a week and noticed she didn’t have a sprayer on the end of the water hose, so I brought her my rain head to use. I attached it to the hose, turned it on and handed it to her. Just the sound of the water the rain head gives and watching it shower over the plants was such a peaceful moment she didn’t want it to end. It’s moments like that you know you’re standing in the good life.
I watched my actions, and they all seemed normal until I caught the stick on fire. Sitting on my zafu meditation cushion, I grabbed the lighter and lit a stick of Palo Santo and thought, “What would a man think seeing me light a stick on fire inside the house, with music for plants playing in the background?” Just another reason why the doorway is still empty! 😂
I mentioned here about having house plants, so now I’m really into plant stands. Just like everything else, I’m particular about them, so the one that gets my attention has to speak to my heart. World Market has become my favorite store. It’s inspiring to walk through, and it’s close by which makes for a refreshing, afternoon break from the laptop.
The first plant stand was for this smallish fiddle leaf fig. This guy was my test subject, purchased at a local nursery for less than $20. I left him sitting in his plastic pot for almost a month, just to make sure he was happy before any further investment. Since placing him in the plant stand, he’s doubled in size, so he’s happy.
This may be the first stand for this plant, but he was sitting in a woven basket before this stand. I did some research on plant stands to see what was available in stores before driving around. I hadn’t purchased a plant stand for an indoor plant in years, and I’ve learned it’s best to see something in person if possible before buying. Nowadays, the picture seems to outdo the actual product.
I saw a stand on the WM website, which showed it available in store, so off I went. When I got there, they were closing the doors, but let me in with a warning, “We close in 10 minutes.” Quickly, I walked over to the plant stand area, but didn’t see it, so I walked through the store thinking it might be part of a display, and it was. It had a large, artificial version of my plant sitting in it, which was a good sign.
I wanted more time to ponder the stand, but felt pressured by the store closing and couldn’t decide. It was pretty, but it looked better in the photo than on the store floor. As far as I could tell it was the only one in the store, so I was taking a chance leaving it. There was a less expensive woven basket sitting nearby that would work, so I took it up to the cash register to pay. The cashier told me if it didn’t work, to bring it back.
Stepping outside, I heard the click of the double doors locking behind me. Holding the receipt, I already knew I’d be bringing it back, because I’d listened to my head instead of my heart. A few days later, I returned to the store, but this time came home with the plant stand.
This Feel the Music showed up on my Facebook memories, and my first thought was, “Has it really been 5 years since she brought the stereo home?” I haven’t used it much since receiving this little JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth speaker for Christmas last year. This little guys gives off astounding sound, comes in various colors, will handle 12 hours of play, and it’s waterproof.
In the post Warrior, I mentioned trying my hand at house plants over the Winter and am pleased with the results. This week has been cloudy, so I’ve barely seen the sun, but just like plants, I’m happier with light. Scrolling through Spotify I came across Music for Plants, with a description of, “Mellow vibes for green leaves, green thumbs and green ears.”
This was Wednesday, and I wanted to calm my mind before joining an online workshop. To prepare for midday workshops, especially meditative ones, it’s helpful to keep coffee at a minimum that day, and take time beforehand to get centered. You’ll be more present during the workshop, and able to pay closer attention to what’s being taught, which makes the time spent worthwhile.
On the dating scene, one of my qualifying questions for men is, “Do you have any plants?” If they have happy plants, and enjoy taking care of them, they should know how to care for a human. It’s okay if they choose not to have plants, but it’s a red flag if they kill them. 😂
My feet were resting on the step as I placed the piping hot cup of Joe beside me on the wooden planks. I was watching the day begin sitting on the front porch, and not even in a chair, but on the porch itself. My gaze shifted to the Hibiscus that showed me something yesterday that I needed to keep in my memory bank. This beauty was still propped up.
The tomato plant was done producing for this season, but I wanted to reuse that planter it was in. I saw a slender piece of bamboo in the middle of the plant, and for some unknown reason decided to keep it. Laying it on the porch, I dug the retired tomato plant up and placed a new plant in the planter, leaving the piece of bamboo resting on the porch.
Afternoon thunderstorms were coming in, as the wind began blowing through the yard. That’s when I noticed the Hibiscus hanging over the edge of it’s planter. Two branches that were connected had broken free from one another but could still flourish on their own. One just needed some support to help it stand up straight again.
I remembered the little stick of bamboo from that morning and grabbed a twist tie. I stuck the bamboo into the dirt beside the weighted branch, stood it up and attached it to the stick with the tie.
It was like a gift to take in the morning in such a simple way. Not knowing at the time why I kept the little piece of bamboo, it’s purpose was revealed hours later. The Hibiscus was saying, “Hey Barb, You know how to prop yourself up.” This is true, but I’m at a point in my life where I would welcome a stick of bamboo.
I enjoy walking around the yard to see how things are doing. I’ve noticed when a plant needs help, it doesn’t look happy. I’ll investigate by sticking my index finger down deep into the soil to get to the heart of the matter.
That usually tells me what they’re getting too much of, or not enough of, which is typically too much water and not enough light. I have a real He-Man shovel. The thing feels like it weighs 30 lbs. all on it’s own, but I grab it and press the tip deep into the soil to scoop the plant up. That’s called getting to the root of the problem. 😂
I’ve also learned you want it to have massive roots. I’ll gently shake the excess dirt from the roots before replanting it. My daughter comes homes and notices a plant in a new location. She has watched me move a lot of plants all over the yard and says, “Where they’re planted isn’t permanent.” My Daughter.
As long as they have roots they can live in any location, but time will tell if they can be happy there. You can flourish right where you are. Be deeply rooted.