“If the garden of Eden really exists it does so moment by moment, fragmented and tough, cropping up like a fan of buddleia high up in the gutter of a deserted warehouse, or in a heap of frozen cabbages becoming luminous in the reflected light of roadside snow.” — Helen Dumore, The Raw Garden
Photos of some perhaps ordinary, obscure, small, oft-overlooked and even maligned elements of the paradise that’s earth, this feast of being. (All photos taken in the last month, in New England, except for the final collage.)
I’ve been a little fascinated by dandelions lately.
And other so-called weeds. Like ajuga in the lawn, in shadow and light:
And ferns, coltsfoot, tall rockcress, and violets along the roadside.
‘Never forget that every mind is shaped by the most ordinary experiences. To say that something is ordinary is to say that it is of the kind that has made the biggest contribution to the formation of your most basic ideas.’ — Paul Valéry
There are beautiful pests.
Spring ephemerals, woodland plants, sometimes nodding or lowly, both showy and unshowy, like trilliums (Kezar Lake, Cider Hill Gardens):
And Jack in the Pulpits (Bedrock Gardens, Clark Pond Trails):
And lady slippers (Clark Pond Trails):
As well as flowers languishing.
And then there’s the infusion of sunlight, and raindrops, and both.
“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…
“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden
Sometimes Eden is more drab than you might expect, and in that almost (never) monotone it sings its siren song, lures us closer:
Eden by way of juxtaposed colour and texture:
“It’s an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: “nothing special,” as Buddhists say, meaning “everything.” Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral.
“All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.” ― Mary Rose O’Reilley, The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd
Yes, I used that quote before, in 31 Days of Kissing the Wounds – Day 31 – FEAST OF BEING.