I take a walk every day to a sweet little public garden near where I live now, in Southern California. Arlington Garden is my drug of choice, the antidote to – you know – everything that calls for an antidote. My new condo doesn’t have any soil to plant in, so I come to this three-acre native plant garden to find the gentle touch of nature. It’s a haven for butterflies, bees, birds, and squirrels – and of course, humans.
Some of my best nature teachers have been my authors, whose beautiful books I’ve been privileged to work with. They’ve helped me to look at familiar things and see with new eyes. I stop in admiration at things I might not have noticed before, like the tiny, geometric beginnings of a cluster of baby pine cones-to-be. Now, for example, I see the possibilities of random twigs, leaves and blossoms becoming an inspired arrangement for my windowsill or table by letting those often-overlooked bits of life find their own comfortable relationship in a vase. I don’t have to be an artist; nature is fully qualified. Thank-you, Debra Prinzing, Miriam Goldberger and Nancy Hugo for the “art” lessons.
On my walk today I saw brilliant California poppies in a dry stream, orange blossoms and great swaths of rosemary bushes abuzz with bees – amid a dazzle of colors that made my heart soar: yellows, purples, blues, reds. Nature puts it all together for quite a spring show this year (after the rainiest winter in years). Just in time for my new eyes.
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