Thursday, November 16, 2006

Grace in a White Plastic Bowl


Preliminary addendum:Oh great, now Blogger won't publish the spaces between my paragraphs! It shows spaces when I compose it, but then it's all smashed together when I publish it. Who knows how it will look at the time you are reading it? I'm going to try double spacing between paragraphs. Who knows? Maybe it will translate everything into another language. This is maddening.
Original composition: Despite my previous post's rant about the changes in (on? about?) Blogger, I have actually been thinking more often about how often good things happen when we least expect it and certainly when we least deserve it.
In the photo, look to the left, about a third of the way down, and you will see the brilliant red of a geranium blossom. According to the experts, it's actually a Pelargonium, but since most people call it geranium, that's what I'll call it here.
I've always been struck by the joyful look at red geraniums sitting on front porches, or grouped in bunches at the nursery.
Last year I actually read about a study in which researchers had men and women look at various kinds of flowers, including geraniums of various colors, and then measured chemicals in the blood after each viewing.
They found that simply seeing a red geranium boosted seratonin levels in women. Not in men. And not other red flowers, and not other colors of geraniums.
I found that fascinating and decided to buy a couple to hang on my back porch.
Keeping them alive through the hot, dry summer was a test of my discipline and compassion, and more than once I had to go out with scissors and cut off dried up leaves. But they made it.
Then, I was out of town weekend after weekend, and I decided to let the geraniums go. Perhaps you can see from the right side of the photo how well I succeeded. Many leaves are brown, the green ones are small and wilted. I had far greater success at letting them suffer than at keeping them healthy. It was much easier.
Last weekend I was home but occupied most of the time (upcoming blog!), so I didn't make it out back to dispose of these poor delapidated friends. Each time I've looked out the back door, I've thought what a bad person I am for not caring more for these little creatures. They looked so forlorn, so abandoned. Because they were.
Then yesterday I went out to throw the ball for Paolo, and what did I see but this tiny little spot of bright red against the brilliant yellow of the tree. (Not so brilliant in the photo because I couldn't take the picture till late in the day.)
It was like an offer of understanding and forgiveness from this dear geranium.
I think that one little blossom raised my serotonin level more than all the summer blooms did!
And now I'm thinking I'll see if I can nurse these graceful beings through the winter. Anybody know if that' s possible?
After seeing this, it seems anything might be possible.
Afterword: I hope my indentations made it easier to read. For that matter, I hope they show up!

1 comment:

Carolinagirl said...

The lonely bloom is a sign that the seasons have not wanted to let go of their beauty to allow the current one to have all the glory. I don't know if that really makes sense or not.

I bought a leaf vac earlier this year and have used it a few times to vacuum up all the leaves that have fallen from one particular tree outside my living room door. It's not that I have to rid the ground of these leaves, but I do.

The leaves had covered my flower bed that until this past spring I always adorned with the free flowers given to those of us who live in quarters. This year I didn't plant any as I felt terribly in remember prior seasons when I just didn't take the time to care for them. Still, they survived.

The first time I used my leaf vac this fall, I saw a bit of greenery in that flower bed once the leaves were removed. Something was still trying to grow. More leaves fell and I didn't notice any greenery a few weekends ago when I made the final leaf vac mission.

Anyway, your lone bloom on your geranium plant reminded me of that. Winter is trying to arrive, but fall just doesn't want to let itself go.