...if you have a backyard and a kitchen, this blog might be for you!

a chronicle of tips and recipes on everything from gardening to canning and baking your produce, even if you're planted in suburbia...in fact, especially if you are planted in suburbia.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sabbath Rest: On Choosing...

A rose by any other name...flowers are--of all God's creation--most often used in noble symbolism.  It is their greatest dignity.
My family just gave me some for Mother's Day; and today, when I rose early I spied them in the dawn light as the coffee pot offered up its first heady scent of morning brew.
I took a cup and read a bit. George Eliot's words: It will never rain roses.  When we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.
And I read David Kundtz's words reflecting on Eliot's quote in the context of taking a life pause for the sake of life determination:  As Eliot says, if you want roses, plant trees.  What doing nothing can do is help you know what you really want--is it roses, or gladiolas, or redwoods, or none of those?--so that you don't end up with a beautiful garden of what you don't want.
And I thought, "Yes, yes!"

But then...I read a bit of Ann Voskamp, and I remembered (with the aching sweetness she stirs so well) that even with a pause and even with a plan, even with well-chosen seeds, truth is...things can spring from the soil that are still things you don't want. 
I remembered that in the end, it also matters how you put it all on display.  There are so many ways to see a vase of flowers:

A true thing even of the same vase of flowers when differently displayed, under different exposures of light and in nooks of varying dignity...
I dreamed once of preparing a vase of flowers in a sun-filled green kitchen.  This dream involved making a choice--which is the heart of all this anyway.  I could chose a magnificent cut-crystal vase for this spray of bright and varied flowers that were given into my care; but if I made that choice, then I chose a vase that was chained to its place on the kitchen counter.  Soon the flowers in this vase would die for lack of water as it could not reach a spigot anywhere.  On the other hand, I could choose a simple vase that was un-anchored and could move about freely.  This I could easily fill with water, and the flowers would retain their essential beauty for much longer. 
I thought:  the beauty of the crystal vase would be marred by a bouquet of dead blooms.  Better to leave it empty.  The beauty of the humble vase would be enhanced if it nestled such an array, this fountain of shape and color I held trembling in my hand.
I went with the simple vase and prioritized what it nurtured, even as I respected the essential beauty of the other vase.
To this day, it stands as a dream of happy memory and hopeful future.

To all the mothers who choose well...

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