Saturday, February 7, 2009

botanicals in winter

When I am feeling unbearably blue about the cold days of winter I pack up one or both of the boys and head off to the Denver Botanical Gardens. There is a marvelous indoor arboretum that smells of Hawaii and flowers and distant places. I wander amidst the ripening foliage, imagining a forest or a jungle, imagining sunny skies and languid days, until I am full again and then I step out into the cool-dry Colorado day, refreshed.
We then begin the game of "beauty where you find it". A game I have played since I was a small girl and one that my boys take equal pleasure. The rules are simple and the world is the playground. Simply wander through your day and find reasons to take your breath away. They are everywhere. Here are a few that Bodhi and I discovered in the Botanical Gardens.The immeasurable beauty of a child is always an easy place to begin looking. Being a mother is a rare combination of poet, artist, teacher, chef and 24 hour maid, but there are ALWAYS moments of pure bliss that keep the singing soul in pitch.I have no idea what this plant is, because I didn't read the little metal label preferring instead to imagine myself an explorer in the wild jungles of some imagined place, discovering this rare and royal species for the very first time.This beatiful staghorn plant was vibrating with sunlight. Bodhi and I stared for sometime, watching the sunlight and mist dancing amidst the leaves.
The upward icicle was such a marvelous find, Bodhi watched the slowly dripping faucet with rapt attention... until the sound of tractors caught his attention. The gardens are under construction and most of the trails are temporarily closed. Undaunted Bodhi ran hell-mell past the caution strips toward the nearest yellow land mover, with me coming behind with admonitions.Fortunately, he was befriended by a kind worker-bee who picked him up and settled him into a tractor-truck seat. A fact that he will tell any friend or stranger within thirty seconds of conversation.Finally, near the exit, we discovered these beauties amidst snow and winter. I wonder why these flowers get such a bad rap. I would think being called a pansy would be a compliment, they are hardy, delicately beautiful and as resilient as any flower I know of. While Bodhi and I stared on, I began to feel that if I were a flower I would be a pansy. When I was young I imagined myself a sunflower, turning ever toward the light and then as a starburst lily, blooming with exotic abandon, but now I think I am a pansy. Blooming in spite of myself...

1 comment:

china cat said...

hey i play this game too! but i call it the observation game. it takes a quiet observer and a soft step. i taught it to raphael and we play it on our explorations. of course, it shouldn't be a suprise to me that we have been playing the same game all along - we are (i proudly declare!) SISTERS.