One gardener's observations, discoveries and random thoughts whilst simultaneously worshipping and dallying in a Cape Cod garden. "A garden," said Ralph Waldo Emerson, "is like those pernicious machineries which catch a man's coatskirt or his hand, and draw in his arm, his leg and his whole body to irresistable destruction."

Sadness and Blessings

Already it is the middle of March.   Saint Patrick’s Day.    And what astounding reminders we have had this past week about not taking for granted the many blessings in our lives, about how it turns out we are often luckier than we even realize.

At this point, I can’t imagine there’s anyone who hasn’t seen at least a little coverage of the dreadful happenings in Japan.   A historically monstrous earthquake, followed quickly by a devastating tsunami would certainly be misery enough for anyone.   And now there’s the additional harrowing concern about failing nuclear reactors upstaging the rest.  Our planet weeps.

I know some people who tell me they simply can’t look at it or read about it anymore.    Some already bore a heavy cloak of sadness for one reason or another, and seeing footage of the disaster is too much for them.   Many others have reached their saturation point, they’ve just seen too much; I understand that, too.

I sort of overdosed on the news cycle ten years ago after 9/11, so I do try to keep myself exposed in measured doses and turn off the TV or radio after a while.  Usually I find reading the news is informative but maybe less of an assault on the senses.   I think it’s important to stay in touch with what’s going on, what’s happened, but to keep in mind that too much can have its own impact on a person, and not just leave the telly on to loop bad news over and over again.  That just wears on the soul.

But I also find some folks seem so eager to glance away and not think about it, who don’t seem to appreciate that being able to look away is a luxury.   That the people who were not crushed by collapsing buildings or swept away by waves, those people can’t look away.   They had days just like ours, with work and families and shopping and homes and housekeeping and so on just before their world turned upside down and they have now found themselves, in some cases, with none of that…and not even much in the way of food and water.

How lucky are we who have our meals and our homes and our families.

Ugh.  So serious.   And fittingly so:  terrible things have occurred.

One of the amateur clips I saw online of the earthquake was from a guy who was walking through his house filming as it happened, sort of dashing about, his shaky (understandably!) camera showing everything in the rooms he passed through, and generally revealing rows and rows of planted flower pots just about everywhere the camera swung:  lined up by windows, or along one side of a hallway, or on one side going down the steps.  I couldn’t help but laugh; here was someone who makes my indoor gardening seem like an occasional hobby.  In hindsight, I think he wasn’t dashing through the house panicking about the earthquake, but was actually just trying to keep up with the watering.

And watching some of the video footage of the tsunami, well, that’ll give anyone who lives on Cape Cod the creeps if they think about it for very long.   No wonder we look away – it doesn’t take long to see some of ourselves in the scenario.  And that’s too scary to think about.

It’s still winter there in north eastern Japan and Mother Nature laid a little snow atop their sorrow this week, too.  Even overlooking for the moment the uncertain business about the nuclear reactors, there’s a bitter harvest for them this Spring.

May a thousand flowers bloom where their tears water the earth.

Spring is coming on strong here in the Nest this week.  This African violet has presented buds and begun blooming just in the last week and this morning, my old amaryllis began to bloom in the early morning sun.  In fact, my “Thanksgiving” cactus – with the yellow flowers – is preparing to bloom again, as is my eager Christmas cactus at the office.

Now that we’ve sprung ahead with our clocks for Daylight Savings Time, it’s quite a treat to have more sunlight after work.    After the long dark winter, I almost feel like a thief for sneaking out of the office when its still so very light!

Woo hoo, I’ll happily take it and run…or at least walk, as we’ve done to the beach several evenings this week.   And the signs of Spring are mounting outdoors, as well, with the moss getting all freshly green, robins digging worms,  the red-wing blackbirds congregating like strange chattering and singing leaves in a bare treetop as the sun goes down.

“Carpe diem!

Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day;

live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have.

It is later than you think.”

Horace, 65 BC – 8 BC


Comments on: "Sadness and Blessings" (5)

  1. Beautiful words and pictures Greg. You are very talented. I truly enjoyed your blog.

  2. like you, i can’t watch the news on a long term basis. for me it’s also because of the coverage of 9-11. i found myself traumatized again and again as the broadcasts reran the planes crashing into the buildings and the collapse of the towers. since that time i’ve not just limited my exposure to the news, i’ve very nearly eliminated it. i found out about the earthquake in japan and the ensuing tsunami from facebook. even now i can’t watch any videos about it. it’s not that i don’t care, i do. it’s that i can’t deal with it. i’ll help where i’m able (done a donation already) but that’s all i can do.

    your photos are beautiful and give me hope that spring will eventually come to our winter crusted place, too. we had some above freezing days, but have since gone back down below freezing with a fresh blanket of snow to cover the slush. while i don’t want to deal with the heat of summer, i long for the colours.

  3. I don’t even own a television, but of coarse this enormity of the events in Japan have not escaped my attention. Truly sad. I’ve wept for Japan.

  4. Spring is slowly coming to us atm. Well the pictures and videos from Japan, these things were really hitting my mood. I can’t explain why it made this strong impression. Maybe because one knows in this moment people dying in these cars and ships. We live a fragile life. Beautiful photos as always.

  5. Right. Live life to the fullest. Today, I went up to one of our units to console a colleague as he stood outside the door of a room where his 25-year-old niece had just died. Life can be horrible and brutal, even without major catastrophes. The little catastrophes are devastating enough. I followed this with a visit to our maternity unit, where I saw an adorable two day old child who drove the feel of death from me and put me back on track.

    Life has horrors that await us all, I’m sorry to say. That’s why we should cherish our friends and enjoy the good things whenever we can! Chin up, my friend! We love you!

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