Monday, May 12, 2008

Sleepy Pugs, Glorious Gardens, The Hidden Door To Dragonfly Cottage, and A Silent Monday Morning...

"My garden is all overblown with roses,
My spirit is all overblown with rhyme..."

~ Vita Sackville-West ~

Sneak quietly up to the front door of
Dragonfly Cottage. You will be bombarded
by 2 pugs and one big black dog. Sam is very
slow to get up in the morning and is
under the covers, pretending to be asleep,
but I am making your latte and a warm
scone. Good Morning to you...

The mornings are my favorite time of the day. They are very busy, what with getting the dogs out and in and feeding twelve animals, but it is a mindful routine, like raking a Zen garden. When I sit down with coffee to write the sounds of the birds and the dogs slipping back into their morning nap comfort me. My crystals and stones sparkle under my desk light and my fingers move fast and fly across the keys. When the espresso was brewing I had a silent communion with a chickadee just outside of my kitchen windows. She sat there for quite awhile and we made eye contact for several seconds before she flew off. There are far more flashy wild birds that visit here, but I love my little chickadees...

"Do not dare make me get out of this bed until
my latte is made and The New York Times has
arrived. And I'll have Eggs Benedict for break-
fast, but those other little hooligans can get by
with dogfood. I'm going back to sleep now, wake
me when it's ready..." Sampson, spoiled rotten,
just as he is supposed to be!

The grace and groundedness of living with nature all around me, steadying me on this terra firma, and the comfort of my animal companions, keep my mind, once very nearly always tossing and ill at ease, as calm as a pond on a still day. Clear, translucent, I can see past myself and through my own life to the world around me. I expand with each moment. I become more than myself. I feel a oneness with it all. I toss a pebble in the pond and watch the concentric circles fan out all around me. This is what it means to attain bliss. If momentary, still, it can float one through many days ahead...


While the espresso is brewing I go quickly outside
to snap some pictures of this morning's garden. The
first thing I want to capture, a favorite little area,
is what I call the "Half Moon Garden," for that is
it's shape, and you can see the overall area and a
few closeups of my favorite flowers...


This half moon shaped garden continues
on up to the front door of the cottage and
all the perennials are full and green and
will soon begin their bloom season through
summer. The above picture is a little hazy,
so here are a few pictures to clarify. Also, the
undergrowth not yet up will be a
of old time perennials, like cottage
creeping thymes, a buddleia, several

roses and much more that you will see
the summer progresses...

A closeup of 'Madame Isaac Periere,' with a huge blossom
of the clematis, 'Nelly Moser,' simply breath-taking and
magical, twining up all through the rose that can grow to
6' tall and there are countless blooms of the clematis in
the bud, which will open, as if in a ripple effect, all the
way up the rose...

Closeup of clematis 'Nelly Moser.'

Lovely sky blue Oxypetalum 'Heaven Born,' with R. 'Eden'
in the background...

Closeup of 'New Dawn', a stunning and very sweet rose...

I slip into my book, between it's pages as they gain momentum, and something inside of me starts to roll with the rhythm of a book becoming. At first there are notes, quotes, and flashing thoughts, words on a page, disjointed sentences and paragraphs toppling over one another, but then some inner impetus propels the book along and the little engine that could starts it's ascent up the hill. I am no longer writing the book, the book is writing itself and carrying me along with it. I stand on the back of the caboose and watch the words fly by. The wind on my face is exhilarating. I've a long, long way to go, but once you hit your stride and know where you are headed, you can trust the book and put the map away.

The front garden just coming into full glory. Many roses
are blooming, many perennials just getting started, the
abundance of all kinds of perennial hibiscus in all manner
of beautiful colors are just coming up, and so much more.
Mid summer you will see no bare ground, just a glory of
flowers on this tiny plot of land...

The stroll through the morning garden puts everything in perspective. There are still dewdrops on the leaves. At fifty-four I feel a radiance I had heretofore not expected to experience. The great surprise in midlife is that it is like the summer garden in full bloom, not the waning I had expected when I was younger. And the garden, in it's growing toward it's full glory, makes me breathless with anticipation.

The ground was very hard and barren here when I moved in here. The first years while there was a lot of planting, the job was more to work the soil, digging and digging and amending it with everything imaginable. Adding live worms, putting out scores of ladybugs and watching them go round and about the leaves, putting praying mantis cocoons all around the garden. Now, the ground is more friable and the plants come up more easily. The lilies and iris, my beloved hibiscus, the glorious roses and perennials and annuals in abundance. People stop and stare. I give them flowers. I realize the garden is a metaphor for my life now. The ecstasy of the arm full of roses and the first delphinium this morning made me giddy, and their presence gave out a lovely energy while I wrote. The garden, the book, my life ... I am in love with the world.

I planted two hydrangea bushes, tiny bitty baby plants,
nearly 4 years ago. This is the very first year they are
putting out flowers and it shall be a wonder to see them.
I have an old stoneware coffeepot I put all the grounds
in from my morning latte, and cover the grounds with
very hot water as it fills. Finally, I have a wonderful
"tea" or coffee as it were, to feed the roses and acid
loving plants like the blue hydrangeas. These should
be blue, but if the soil is too alkaline they will be pink.
I'm hoping for blue. Even in a tiny place you can make
compost and recycle this and that from your leftover
foodstuffs -- eggshells and more -- and add compost
to your garden. Come back often and watch the
hydrangeas grow!

The thing that both a garden and midlife teach you is patience. Now, having created many gardens in my life, I know that each day is a gift, even when it is freshly planted soil and nothing is blooming. I have learned that love is not what I expected, and it is exactly perfect. It is worth waiting for. I feel no rush. I once wrote a book in 6 weeks. Now, if this book takes five years to write it will be worth it. Life is big, this book is the one I was meant to write, and could only be written from a point of full maturation, and true love comes when you know you are willing to wait, no matter what, not rushing in at the bliss stage, but loving most to have a companion, and be in it for the long haul. You can't realize that when you are young, you haven't had the time, the experiences, the scars, the glories, the lows, and the highs that take you over the moon, but return you to the ground, to solid ground, that you might hold hands and walk slowly through life with your soul mate, not expecting every day to be a fourth of July fireworks display. Those are exquisite times, but the everydayness of life is what I seek. I have found the hidden door to my heart. It is behind these four walls. And there is so much love, with parrots and soft pug noses, with a big black dog always at my side, with the true meaning of life revealing so much to me every day as people near to me are ill and dying, and yet every day the sun comes up and I have a whole new chance to make the world, my life, my love, an even deeper experience. My love is like a rose. I may be scratched, I may bleed, but the beauty of the rose itself triumphs over all. My life is a garden. I live in Eden.

With just a second to spare before running in to froth
the milk for my latte, I snapped a lovely picture of this
old Southern rose, 'Caldwell Pink,' growing next to the
Pampas Grass. I planted nearly 60 roses here. When I
move, in the next year or two, to a bigger cottage with
more land, I will be planting roses for the rest of my

Roses amongst pampas grass is a beautiful metaphor for life itself. The roses are full and soft and mellow, the edges of the pampas not only tear at the skin but cause an uncomfortable reaction that can last for days. But still one comes back to the roses. At fifty four I have accepted them both. I don't expect a perfect life. I don't expect my life not to be tempered by time and hardships, but I trust in grace, I trust in beauty, I trust in God/Goddess/Buddha/Everything That Is Divine And Holy. I trust in Me. It has taken me 54 years to come home to myself. Now I am ready for a wider world.

I wish you love. I wish you beauty, most of all that you look in the mirror and see the beauty inside yourself. You are beautiful. I can see you from here. Even the warm, vibrating pug on my feet affirms it. Joy, sorrow, glory, grace, it is all here. I am humbled. And it is sublime.


In order to see the birds it is necessary to become part of the
silence. One has to sit still like a mystic and wait. One soon
learns that fussing, instead of achieving things, merely
prevents things from happening."

~ Robert Lynd, Irish Essayist ~


Toni said...

Your gardens are gorgeous!

Your pugs are adorable!

LizzyT said...

I feel like I have taken a walk with you round your garden :)

Waterrose said...

OH, I love your green and the flowers are must smell divine!

Robert said...

It felt like I was sitting right in the middle of your was wonderful

Carole said...

Oh thank you for sharing a few peaceful moments with me.

Azure Islands Designs said...

Beautiful gardens...Dragonfly Cottage looks so tranquil...a lovely place to be...H

Plot Dog said...

Just wanted to say, given my icon, gotta love those pugs and all your pics. I SO have to start adding pics to my blog. Where do you get yours?

Maitri Libellule said...

I so appreciate everyone's kind comments. As it says in the sidebar near the top, I am recovering from a broken wrist and it's hard for me to keep up with answering comments, but I'll be able to do a better job again soon.

All of the photographs I take myself and upload them to the web, with the exception of the cottage at the top which is my dream cottage, as I'm working toward moving into a charming little cottage bigger than this one in the next year or two. That was a copyright free image.

Hope that answers your question PuggyPlotDog! :o)

Blessings and many gracious thanks to one and all for your kind messages...


gautam maitra said...

Oh! I love green and gardens ... yours is spreading such a nice green festivity - the silent lives on earth - and lovely flowers...your concern for pets also make me feel that there are still people caring and thinking about those who cannot complain.

I do have a blog where objective are similar - life and living, though themes are different. Wud luv your visit

thanks for the read

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