Peonies are old-fashioned favorites of many gardeners because of their spectacular late-spring blossoms. Each spring new shoots rise up from below the ground and develop into clumps of large leaves. Its name means “healing,” and this embodies its protective energies.
… The peony does have some interesting folklore. Its roots were used to carve amulets because of its protective energy. If stormy weather arose while on a boat, a peony was burned like incense and the rough weather would calm. To the Chinese, the peony is the queen of flowers and was always associated with the summer season. They have grown peonies for 2,000 years.
… Some traditions tell us that the peony was created by the goddess of the moon to reflect her light at night. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, alignment with this flower helps your own inner sun reflect out into life more distinctly. It helps to cleanse the aura of negative energies and it reminds us that the manifestation of any healing and artistic abilities will be beneficial now and that opportunities to use them are at hand.
~ Ted Andrews, Nature-Speak
I have decided I can no longer have, or declare that I have, a favorite flower. Every time another flower comes into season, it is my current favorite. Oh wait, that’s not true. I do have a favorite, but it is a flower that doesn’t live here. I am in love with lupines, and have been since I first saw them growing in fields and ditches in Maine and in the Canadian Maritimes. Perhaps it’s easier to declare a favorite when there is some space between us and I know I’ll have to travel to see them again. They do sell lupine seeds and plants down this way, but I’ve never been able to get them to survive here. That could be my fault. I am a lazy gardener. (Side note: Lupines, in the language of flowers, are said to be symbolic of imagination. Maybe that’s why I love them so.)
Mr. and Mrs. B, the former owners of the house and property that I call the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, planted the peonies we’ve been enjoying since we moved here. I’ve never planted peonies because I’ve never had to. Someone else — those who lived here or there, in other places, before me — always saw to it. I reap the rewards of their work and have been given the privilege of spending time with the flowers after the folks who used to live here (or there) moved on.
While I might never know the people who planted the flowers, I still feel a connection to them. I imagine the work and care and nurturing that went into giving the flowers a home. I imagine the people who walked out to enjoy them when they bloomed in the spring. There is a connection there, between those people and the flowers and now, to me.
M and I leave behind plants, too. Trees (we’ve planted over 200 in our lifetime), shrubs, and all kinds of flowers from daffodils to irises to coneflowers and more.
I planted some bee balm in the Scrounger’s garden last week. I ordered it online from a place not far from here. I couldn’t find it at any of the local nurseries last year, but a place down in Virginia (Brent & Becky’s) had it in their catalog so I ordered some this year. I was not about to search our local nurseries. They have been quite crowded, with a lot of unmasked people who are not physically distancing.
Because we had plans to be away a good part of the summer, I didn’t start the usual zinnias, and wanted something that might take over on its own for a while. The best laid plans are, of course, up in the air due to the pandemic, but I could still plant the bee balm. Whether we travel or not, the flowers will be there for the butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds. M planted sunflowers out that way, too.
It’s blustery here today. I think that’s due to what was Tropical Storm Arthur who came by yesterday and brought us some needed rain to water all the newly planted flowers. I’m not sure. It could be another low that’s spinning around to the west of us that’s bringing the current winds. There’s a coastal flood watch. Between the wind and the upcoming new moon, that’s not surprising. Perhaps we’ll have fish swimming in the woods.
I’ve been meaning to sit down and write about a moment of grace I had a week or so ago. It was one of those bad days, the kind where grief seemed to overrule everything. It wasn’t a specific grief, but that collective kind of grief that feels like it’s floating in the air or riding in on the wind. Now that time has passed, I’m not sure what to write about it. Maybe I let the time pass because it’s hard to put an experience of that kind into words. All I can say for sure was that I was blessed with the gift of relief and release when it was over. A calm after the storm. But there was something more to it. A sense of peaceful comfort. Almost like a hug.
I suppose that’s enough from me for today. No serious topics or soapbox subjects this time around, but I’m sure they’ll return. In the meantime, thank you so much for visiting with me today. Sunset is scheduled for 8:11 PM. Let’s meet out at the dock and around the marsh where we can spread out. It’s windy enough to keep away the biting insects, but you’ll probably want to spray your shoes and legs with some of the tick repellent we keep on hand. It looks like it will be a good season for the ticks. Bad for us humans, but good for them. And before I forget (the ticks reminded me), we have a new addition to our herd of deer. M saw a fawn that couldn’t have been more than a day old out on one of the paths that wind through our newly grown forest (what I used to call the Future Woods). I haven’t seen the baby yet, but I’m sure I’ll get a glimpse soon.
Please be safe, be well, and be kind. ♥♥♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,421) Peonies, of course. 1,422) Listening to the songs of the wind. 1,423) The stillness of meditation. There’s been a change, a good change, on that front. Less restless mind, more quiet. 1,424) Wonderful and wonder-filled stories, beautiful and interesting essays. Here’s a little something from Emergence Magazine that I read this morning: The Other House. 1,425) Synchronicity. So much of what I’m reading and learning seems to connect, like pearls on a necklace.