Liturgy of the Seasons
"How good it is to see the brilliant light of the blessed summer day, always brightest just after rain, and to see how every tree and plant is full of new life and abounding gladness; and to feel one's own thankfulness of heart, and that it is good to life, and all the more good to live in a garden."
We are on the cusp of summer. The days are lengthening and the sun is arcing high in the sky with a radiance that fills the blue expanse overhead. Tender green is awash over all the trees as leaves burst from buds in an exponential growth pattern. It is beautiful.
Living a mile high, the light is brilliant, just like Gertrude Jekyll describes. It literally seems to throw sparkles over everything it touches. Nature is brimming with verve and picturesque joy.
Spring was so delightful this year as we tended seeds and watched them sprout, almost miraculously, from the dark ground. What defiance nature shows, with roots spreading deep and a will to grow toward the light. Bulbs flowered straight into the warming days before bowing their heads as a surrender to the patterning of the seasons.
Gardening by the Colorado Rockies is a mystery to unfold. One thing I have learned - it makes a difference to the overall aesthetic if I buy mature flowering plants around Memorial Day. I call it "instant gardening," and it works! On Friday we meandered up and down between flowers and shrubs, looking for adornments for our front porch and back deck. The plants were in full bloom, bursting with hue, looking lush and nurtured. Petunias on sale, lilac bushes, snapdragons, columbines, and Saxifrage caught our eye and we loaded them onto the cart and brought them home.
I'm always startled by the beauty and variety of flowers; they are stunning and bring such delight, soothing the heart with their gentle presence. These tender stemmed petals fight a battle to bring life and joy to us that is powerful and comes with force. Who could imagine that something so delicate and lovely could be the giver of hope, strength and stand with us to overcome the internal struggles of fear, hopelessness, or sorrow?
Beauty is a power that heals and restores. I think about gardens as being places that bring my soul back to the original resting place of communion with God. I rest here. I feel the gratitude of my own heart. I surrender to the changing seasons, the shifting of the weather, and the surging of life.
Observing the seasons is like a liturgy for me, a sacrament or ritual that keeps me grounded in the rhythms of the year. Today I am surrounded by the surety of summer's faithful arrival, soothed by the beauty of nature that happens without fanfare.
I heartily agree with Gertrude Jekyll - the trees and plants are full of life and abounding gladness. My thankful heart is good for my life, and it's all the more good to live, truly live, in a garden.