Six On Saturday: Six Beautiful Things

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“The mind can go in a thousand directions,

but on this beautiful path,

I walk in peace.

With each step, the wind blows.

With each step,

a flower blooms.”
.

Thich Nhat Hanh

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“Strangeness

is a necessary ingredient

in beauty.”
.

Charles Baudelaire

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“Beauty is no quality in things themselves:

It exists merely in the mind

which contemplates them;

and each mind perceives a different beauty.”
.

David Hume

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“Live quietly in the moment

and see the beauty of all before you.

The future will take care of itself……”
.

Yogananda

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“All the diversity, all the charm,

and all the beauty of life

are made up of light and shade.”
.

Leo Tolstoy

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“Though we travel the world over

to find the beautiful,

we must carry it with us,

or we find it not.”
.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Photos by Woodland Gnome 2019

 

 

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Fabulous Friday: What is Beauty?

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We live surrounded by beauty.  But how do you define it?  Everyone has their own idea of what is beautiful, and what is not.

This is a conversation that has been going on for a very, very long time.  We know that people living many thousands of years ago discussed this a lot, and had their own, very definite ideas.

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Anything in any way beautiful
derives its beauty from itself
and asks nothing beyond itself.
Praise is no part of it,
for nothing is made worse or better by praise.
.
Marcus Aurelius
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~

We gardeners generally intend to cultivate beauty through our efforts.  That isn’t to say our gardens are always beautiful, though.   Beauty happens, but there is a lot of cleaning up of the ‘not so beautiful’ too.

And that is the space which interests me: when there might be disagreement as to whether or not something is beautiful.

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Do you find this Eucomis beautiful?  Would you grow it?

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“Everything has beauty,
but not everyone sees it.”
.
Confucius
.

Most of us find flowers beautiful.

But what about the perfect insects which drink their nectar?  What about the beetles eating their petals?  Can you see their beauty, too?

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~

Perhaps my perception of beauty is a little skewed, but I find the insects, in their geometric grace and perfection, beautiful.

There is beauty in every leaf, every petal, every stem.  The longer you gaze, the more beauty one absorbs.

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I was so pleased, when I walked through the garden this afternoon, to find these beautiful wasps enjoying our Allium blossoms.  There must have been 20 or more of them, each enjoying the sweet nectar at their feet.  They were peacefully sharing the bounty with bees and other pollinators.

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There are people in my life who would have squealed and backed away at the sight of these busy insects.  But I was too fascinated to fear them, and instead took great joy in making their portraits.  They are interesting visitors, and we rarely see such large, colorful wasps.

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~

Our garden’s bounty this week includes golden parsley flowers and creamy white carrot flowers, in addition to the Alliums.  There are Echinaceas now, lavender, Coreopsis, Salvias, crepe myrtle, Basil, and more.  All these tiny nectar filled flowers attract plenty of attention from hungry pollinators!

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It’s a feast for our eyes, too.  Sometimes, it is hard to imagine the abundance of our June garden until it returns.

We’re celebrating the solstice this week, and we are surrounded by such beauty here, that it is a true and heartfelt celebration

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I’ve always valued beauty.  To me, beauty can cause happiness, just as food expresses love.  There is beauty in truth, though you can argue that beauty may often be based in illusion.

We could discuss this all evening, couldn’t we? 

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“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us, or we find it not.”
.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Rather than ‘over-think’ it, which may be the antithesis of beauty, let’s just enjoy it.

Let’s simply celebrate this Fabulous Friday, this Beautiful high summer day; and like the bees, drink in as much sweet nectar as our eyes and hearts will hold.

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Caladium ‘Highlighter,’ a new introduction this year. Do you find it beautiful?

~

Woodland Gnome 2017

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth
find reserves of strength that will endure
as long as life lasts.”
.
Rachel Carson
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Clematis ‘Violet Elizabeth’

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Fabulous Friday:  Happiness is Contagious, Let’s infect one another!

Wordless Wednesday

Begonia

Begonia

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

Confucius

 

October 1, 2014 garden 016

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

Find Beauty

Hibiscus seedpods open so the seeds may disperse.

Hibiscus seedpods open so the seeds may disperse.

 

We live surrounded by wonder, magic, and beauty. 

And yet how often do we find ourselves going through the day on “auto-pilot?”

The last rose of August, but the first of September...

The last rose of August, but the first of September…

 

Do you ever wonder where your day has gone?  Find yourself so wrapped up in the trivial details of living that you neglect to do the things most important to you?  Have difficulty beginning projects, accomplishing long-cherished goals, or keeping up with loved ones?

 

August 31-Sept. 1 garden 011

After a while, a kind of sluggish inertia sets in; an attitude of, “We’ll get through this” rather than a genuine joie de vivre.

When we feel this, there is a need to break through it to recapture the joy and magic life sometimes holds.

 

Wild, perennial Ageratum grows in our garden.

Wild, perennial Ageratum grows in our garden.

 

We live surrounded by miracles.  Our very existence is a miracle.  And remaining awake to the “catch your breath” excitement of life on this planet remains our challenge.

 

Spotting an Eastern Box turtle fills us with delight.

Spotting an Eastern Box turtle fills us with delight.

There are so many obstacles to keep us mired  in lethargy and boredom.

There is the stress inherent in daily life, the fears which come with each stage of life.  There is frustration, a sense of responsibility to others, and the commitments we have to fulfill at work and in our community.

 

August 26, 2014 garden 005

And we humans have found so many ingenious ways to “break out” of our everyday.

And many of them land us in hot water eventually…

August 27, 2014 Parkway 097

 

Just as there are seasons to the year, so there are seasons to our lives.  It can’t always be spring….

And so our challenge is to find beauty, no matter the season.

 

August 27, 2014 Parkway 073

Beauty helps us break through the malaise to touch the magical again.

It helps us find a different perspective from a wiser place, so we can re-order our thoughts and our priorities to keep ourselves moving towards our higher vision.

 

August 27, 2014 Parkway 081

Seeking out beauty, and letting it fill our minds and hearts re-news us.

Seeing beauty in another’s face re-freshes our connection with them.

Seeing the beauty in every season of our lives offers the energy and courage to continue moving forwards with joy and optimism.

 

Hibiscus, still in bloom

Hibiscus, still in bloom

 

“Walk in beauty,” the blessing of our native brothers and sisters, holds a key to our happiness during every stage our journey here on this magical Earth.

 

August 28, 2014 turtles 065

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything that is beautiful;

for beauty is God’s handwriting

— a wayside sacrament.

Welcome it in every fair face, in every fair sky,

in every fair flower,

and thank God for it as a cup of blessing.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

Words and Photos by Woodland Gnome, 2014

 

August 28, 2014 turtles 070

*

“We live in a wonderful world that is full

of beauty, charm and adventure.

There is no end to the adventures that we can have

if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

Jawaharlal Nehru

Beauty

March 1 sunset 022

Normally, we do not so much look at things as overlook them.

Alan Watts

In seasons of changings and turnings, we are offered a fresh opportunity to wake up; to notice the beauty and wonder around us.  We are invited to notice the tiny miracles which constantly unfold in our world.  All it takes is a moment of our attention to pause and appreciate.  A moment to breathe deeply, and notice the beauty.

March 1 sunset 009

“If you touch one thing with deep awareness, you touch everything.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Did you spot the bluebird in the tree?  The birds gather at dusk in the bamboo at the bottom of the garden.  The air comes alive with cardinals, bluebirds, finches, and robins, calling out to one another and preparing for the night ahead.  One only experiences their gathering if one comes outside and joins them at sunset.  We experience beauty when we make ourselves available and open to witnessing it.

March 1 sunset 015

“The things that we perceive as beautiful may be different,

but the actual characteristics we ascribe to beautiful objects are similar.

Think about it.

When something strikes us as beautiful, it displays more presence and sharpness of shape and vividness of color, doesn’t it?

It stands out. It shines.

It seems almost iridescent

compared to the dullness of other objects less attractive.”

James Redfield, The Celestine Prophecy

Our attention is a powerful tool.  When we give our attention to something, the experience is reciprocal.  We are touched and changed, for better or worse.    When we give our attention to what is beautiful, what is  full of life; our own lives are touched with joy.

February 27, 2014 hellebores 008

Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014

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