My Gardening Life

It was only for a moment, but what a a fun moment it was. I looked up at the feeder and there was a red headed bird with a black body … a Pilates woodpecker!!

Another bird came and Mr. Piliated scrammed. Oh, I would have loved to look at him a little longer.

I have only seen one other pirated woodpecker and that was in the Smoky’s.

This is my life lesson from the garden, of late.

The perennial garden is looking good. Plants are hanging in there and growing, despite rain. I water them almost daily, especially if the heat is in the nineties. But the wildflowers are spent. There are some new ones coming up from seeds I threw out at the beginning of summer, but last year’s glorious showing of coreopsis, is past prime, arthritic looking and scraggly.

Just like we get as we age. Yesterday, Nick kindly reminded me that the body is designed to fall apart.

I thanked him and said, well, it is doing a good job.

What I have observed and delighted in, is that the birds, butterflies and bees don’t give two drumsticks about what the garden looks like. Ther are finding delights in the aging flowers. They dive into the wildflowers and nibble away. They aren’t prejudice against age.

In my naïveté as an expanding gardener, I wanted things to look nice. Of course, I still do. But that really isn’t the value of what I am doing, anymore.

I am here to be of service to the birds, bees, butterflies and bunnies, who are using my yard as a day spa.

Beauty is just a thing. It fades, sometimes in as short as a couple of months. But the glory of life, be it bird or bee, butterfly or people is that we live.

There is value in age, just as there is value in youth.

This morning, I look like a coreopsis that is past its prime. I am a bit crooked, the bloom is a bit faded, and my stems are not as strong as they used to be.

But as it comes to the end of its life, the coreopsis will drop seed that will be enjoyed by others. The seed will sustain living things and next year, rebirth of a new generation will take place.

If I ask myself, am I leaving good seeds to those I meet in this life? Am I nurturing anything, even at 66, with grown children and growing grandchildren? I am giving something to people I meet? A seed of a smile. A listening ear. A bit of a story. Or a hug?

Gardens do that. Flowers and shrubs and trees do that. it isn’t all about them, their size, age, or beauty. It is their purpose. Isn’t life better with a purpose?

Life, in all of its guises, is interconnected. It is cyclic. No anti aging cream is going to prevent someone from dying. It is the cycle of life that we are born, live and die. Same as birds, bees, butterflies and plants.

Oh, there are weak plants, just as there are weak people. They can’t figure out how to live, their roots rot, and they don’t make it. If you observe nature, you understand.

It has taken about two weeks for the birds to use the birdbaths I made. But now, as I sit here, they are sipping. It cracks me up. Andmakes my heart feel good.

There is a purple finch atop one feeder and a goldfinch on another. The yard is swarming with activity.

These birds think they are at David’s Buffet.

And I couldn’t be more pleased.

Susan

Below are some older photos of my beloved Ohio.

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