I Love. I am loved. I am lifted up and swept out into a rainbow sea of the most abundant summer so far. The freakishly warm and capricious winds that marked the early summer have settled into a comforting rhythm of caressing breezes and gentle rainfall. The summer’s cool temperatures have transmuted the grounds and gardens around my little home into a lush, almost tropical paradise. Wandering through with eyes of wonder, I am graced with myriads of brilliant flowers, many of which were gifts of love from beloved family and treasured friends.
Here inside the limestone blocks encircling the kitchen garden, in concentric rings arise the lush heirloom tomato vines, okra, squash and melons. Here also blooms an exuberant fiesta of zinnias surrounded by orange cosmos and lemon marigolds. A network of sky blue, magenta, and deep violet morning glories trade places with the white trumpets of moonflower vines in the early evening. Brilliant red sparks of cardinal creeper and tiny golden flowers of the sunflower vines punctuate the raspberries and herbs. There is a space in the center for viewing shooting stars, for basking in the sun, for private moments undisturbed by the rest of the world.
In the rock garden, blue spires of meadow sage punctuate the billows of silver sage and the blue-gray mounds of santolina. The green and white leaves of the three yuccas have sent their white-flowered spires skyward already. Huge goldenrods are budding in front of a lacy black elderberry, preparing a feast for the butterflies just beginning their long journeys. An ancient buffalo skull is returning to the earth here.
The meditation garden offers four kinds of happiness. A comfortable hand-made red-cedar bench with a rustic fence at its back and a wren house on either side is gathered by the flowing texture of emerald green and yellow-green false-cypress. Overhead arches the sturdy shelter of ancient twin burr oaks. Across the smooth, weather limestone path and tiny river rocks, a ring of japanese forest grass and a tiny pool of water forms a ring of serenity beneath the deep burgundy stars of a japanese maple. Dragonflies and other insects fly in to bask here. Small birds, toads, frogs, salamanders, lizards and snakes share this bounty with Serena the cat, but only while she is drowsing.
A glider below the eaves of the house is sheltered from the elements and offers both rocking motion and arousing color. The startling blue blossoms of the butterfly tree, neon pink roses, white mandevilla trumpets and blazing crimson passionflowers dance in the slightest breeze to the major key melody of the wind ciimes. A view through the open gate extends over a field of alfalfa to a distant oak, with fields of gold beyond.
Opposite the glider drifts a forest green porch swing, with old fashioned, comfortable curves. It reminds me of the one my parents courted on at my mother’s parents home. Sweetly scented by potted jasmines, with occasional wafts of honeysuckle and mimosa drifting over the roof from other side, it gives the best view of the tangerine/fuschia bracts of the bougainvilleas along the fence. Tibetan prayer flags stir above the red front door.
From indoors, the beauty of this garden is enframed by the norfolk island pines before the picture window, where I can enjoy it year round.
All is in motion among the trees in the yard. Cardinals, blue jays, woodpeckers, robins, finches, and hummingbirds have all nested and raised young, some having more than one brood this year. The younger sets are still sporting their protective drab feathers, the older ones growing bright patches as they practice songs and show off for their siblings. The baltimore orioles bring their babies to the nectar feeders outside the kitchen window to show them how to feed, as do the black-chinned hummingbirds. The ruby-throated hummers are just appearing again now after summering farther north.
By mid-morning, iridescent green june beetles careen through the pink silks of the mimosas. By early evening, the white-lined sphinx moths take over the white rose-of-sharons, darting in and out, dipping with their long tongues. Small bats come out, swooping between the trees, and the night sparkles with fireflies. The balmy air is filled with the passion of annual cicadas, drowning out the crickets and all but the loudest of katydids. They speak to me.
To embody love I must open myself wholly, give a new shape and my unique vibratory signature to the abundance streaming in through my senses and my body. As long as I am living in the now, I am in an utterly new world. Written in my physical form are ancient cycles, and yet how very precious each new breath tastes. What will I sing with my life?