My Luminous Window on the World
Far far away on the other side of our country….(though for years there were many things to love in my Brooklyn)….the rampant effusion of flowers to fill the eye and heart was satisfied only by long, hazard-filled, grimey subway trips to mossy walled, early NY Romanesque style architecture: protected hot houses, orangeries, botanical gardens. Or there were museums or picture books…or painting my own.
Tropical flowers were non-existant in shops, or scarce, or a king’s ransom. A standard 5 stem bouquet of yellow daisies, a single sunflower or Easter lily were barely within the budget. Then a miracle discovery of the Flower Market, in the West 20’s I think, wood boxes & metal stands filling block after block. And the dizzying morning glory of walking through those heavenly cropped fields, the intoxicating aromas, the brilliant colors. By noon, thousands of shoppers and walkers and every other marker but perhaps a single lavender petal, a curled and spotted white lily bloom left abandoned on the hosed down cement sidewalks, had vanished from the stage of that theatrical city, a life emptied. But the Flower Market was still a long haul from home and required a pre=dawn start up, and was really (despite the possible mind-blowing feast) a costly journey after all. I knew it was there. Having seen and walked it I could still picture it from afar.
Then I moved.
These photographs are from the current, seventh garden I’ve made to live inside of since coming west. I’m getting better all the time and this one’s a doozie.
Last week Safeway tossed their over-ripe bouquets into an accessable dumpster; my garden is having a fresh bloom of Spanish lavender; the huge Bird of Paradise has ten new budding stalks ~~which I’ve learned will thrive and open when cut; my African Violet is a constant purple thrill; and a spectacular old perfumed orchid which has been in my outside studio for a month (til the overnights dropped to the 30’s) and last night I brought it inside. It has been ufurling brand new blossoms, up to four open, three buds to go and perfumes the whole bungalow.
They crowd my tables by my window. I am thrilled to sit within inches of all this. The compulsion to share this seizes me every minute of the day and night. I want to give you a look and I encourage you to do the same which is to fill your own landscape to more, more more. (PS, in the background on the right here, the ruffled green leaf with the red edging is The River Nile Begonia, and really incredible.)
As Sir Mick Jagger said, “Anything worth doing is worth over-doing.”
Let the good times roll.