Mis-spent Summer

Mis-spent Summer

We spent most of today cleaning up the property, especially our 40-foot-long front garden, and prepared the ground for winter.  We’ve had so much rain this summer and fall that it was hard to know when to do this.  And to confirm my confusion is the strange behaviour of a tall bearded Iris planted amongst a few others in the small backyard garden.  I had trundled him home along with a few others about two years ago.  The first year, baby squirrels had at his buds, thinking they were really well-shaped peanuts, I guess.  Last summer, he didn’t flower at all, though his leaves were strong, long and green.  This summer, he didn’t bloom either…but now…now that Winter is upon us, he has put forth a robust flower stem with two buds clearly about to bloom!  I am thrilled, even though I keep thinking that this iris is mentally challenged:  doesn’t he realize that his blooming season was five months ago?!  

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Peach Cloud

Peach Cloud

There are certain things, which, like air, I need to live:  Fred, my Bouvier, who is ever-present though he has stepped away these last three years and gavottes in heavenly fields with my aunt whose loss leaves me permanently lonesome; a passionate purpose like my relentlessness about compassion towards animals, especially horses; astrology which brings me closer to those heavenly pastures; and David (though if you tell him, I will deny it immediately) whose radiant inner goodness defeats every attempt he makes to be macho.  My computer and car would be third cousins, important but not as essential as all the former.  Not least are my gardens and within that circle would be my irises and my hostas (although, in case they’re reading this, all my plant and flowering plants are important to me).  I will be posting pictures of my standard White Irises shortly (which are profuse) and the surprising Peach Cloud (tall bearded) which appeared as if by magic in my back garden; at least three feet tall, featuring seven buds on two stems (two only!) and sporting a tangerine beard.  (Who knew?)  My favourite is purple but I must say that just by Peach’s size and leaf fall (quite majestic), I have been seduced into loving–if not its colour–then its sense of its own importance and uniqueness (how many peach-coloured Irises have you seen lately?).  The Iris is connected to the goddess of the Rainbow but that has little to do with my life-long love and attraction to it:  its petals alternately fall in bride-like trains or shy forward in closeted high-school confidentials, and it sits atop a stem so thick and sturdy that no wind-rock can bring it down.  Where in life can you find such delicacy supported by such strength?  Such strength birthing such fragility?…  

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Epitaph for Relationships that Once were

Epitaph for Relationships that Once were

I was at a baby shower today–a truly lovely one–full of serene, joyful women celebrating the imminent coming of a new life.  The women were lovely (lovely in the way Australians use the word:  a sweet, pretty, pleasant person); women who exuded a wholeness, a self-containment and a comfortableness with those around them and the world in general, which makes them a pleasure to be with.  There was a contretemps at one point which reminded me of all the woman-to-woman relationships I’ve had (and there have been many), all of them intense, some of them fraught with difficulty or fragility or an inherent opposition or oppositiveness which would inevitably dead-end the relationship before either of us were ready to admit it, breathless with arguments to keep it going, long after the death-knell had sounded.  I have very few women friends left.  But in the same way that I am grateful for them, I am grateful for those I once knew, probably too well when I think about it now.  

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