My Luminous Window on the World


Day after rain, Shauna Orchid

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.

Lily Bouquet at WindowTropical 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.Table Tops, Bouquet and Orchids

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.

Orchid and Books, Window    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.River Nile Begonia, Shauna Orchid, Window

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.

Light through Shauna OrchidBird of Paradise Window

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8 thoughts on “My Luminous Window on the World

  1. I have fond memories of dumpster diving at Rio Road till they put everything under look and key, its wonderful that you salvage what you can and keep it alive

    • This was such a rare find, and I share your enthusiasm and the crushing nonsense of locked dumpsters! I could not believe my luck and my eyes, there must have been 50 bouquets dumped and after I had up to 20 and filled the passenger seat and floor I made myself stop…where to put them! Well they are inside outside up and down in buckets and barrels and vases and jars and absolutely dizzyingly splendid. I haven’t had such feasts since I worked weddings at a horse ranch and hit the dumpster by midnight, filling every pot and jar in sight. Now that, without question, is happiness! Thanks for the visit.

  2. Oh lucky you. That is how it was for me when I lived in California… How I miss it – but now I would not able to take care of all that any more. Time passes and takes so many things away. Brilliant memories remain though. Thank you for this evocation.

    • So great to hear from you, and I am especially glad you saw these flowers. You’ve done some extraordinary posts of things in blooms, different seasons in the west and northwest and Europe and they’re always a delight. Don’t you have a tree with orange somethings that bud in winter, in the snow? Take care dear friend, and smell the things of the good earth.

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