Sitting on the back porch and looking out over the garden I decided to take a stroll and have a look at my neighbor’s yard. Pristine grass meets my eye, a manicured lawn with no weeds and a uniform green from the house to the fence and from one side boundary to another. An ordered yard, easy to care for with no secrets to tell. Welcome to the Blog today, Friends, for Sunday flowers in the garden.
The mowers come every couple of weeks and the yard is a lovely sea of green.
My garden is a different “kettle of fish.” There are secrets here… in this space. Stirred by the gentle breezes the rustling leaves of the trees whisper secrets to the birds nesting in their branches. Perhaps the trees tell of far off places brought to them by the breeze? The birds exchange secrets at the bird bath like office workers gathered in the break room. Perhaps they speak of weaning their fledglings and ways to make them more independent or the pleasures of gathering and playing in the water as they enjoy a bath in the sunlight.
The parent birds bring the little ones to the feeders. The babies flutter their wings telling Mom and Dad they are hungry. The faster the wings flutter the more insistent are the baby birds. An adult bird plucks a peanut from the feeder and drops it into the mouth of the baby bird. The baby flutters again but this time the adult just sits there looking at the offspring. The adult flies away and the baby bird moves to the feeder and plucks a piece of peanut quickly consuming the morsel and reaching for more.
We watch this exercise in parenting that is the same in cardinals, nut hatches, and blue birds that live in our garden and by extension into the lives of parents everywhere trying to raise their children to become independent adults.
Squirrels and chipmunks wait patiently at the base of the feeders scavenging the seeds and peanuts that the birds drop to the ground. They wait in turn for a chance to mount the wheel of corn and satisfy their appetites by entertaining us as we watch.
Hummingbirds wing their way amongst the flowers sipping nectar with their long beaks. They much prefer the flowers to the feeders we keep stocked with sugar water.
What secrets do they share as they flit from blossom to blossom? What do they know that we do not?
When I look at the green expanse of my neighbors perfect lawn, I can see it all in one quick glance. When I look at my garden there are secret spaces hidden around the curve of a tree trunk or a bush. Curved pathways carry you from trees and bushes into a fragrant herb garden surrounded and warmed by a rock wall and set in a little hollow.
More curves take you around the corner of the house where gardenia and hydrangea bloom in soft colors of white and blue. Tea olives perfume the air in Spring and Fall and keep your pathway guarded from casual observers.
Bees are busy in the sunny garden patch where strawberries and raspberries grow their fruit ripening for harvest.
There is life in abundance in this small, rather chaotic space. Secrets are there to discover and I think that, if I am still and listen long enough with an open mind and heart, they will be shared with me.