Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shrouded Fertility

What I like about fall going into winter is that it is a perfect time to get lost, even if it does get a little foggy at times.

The day started out clear and bright. I could see far into the distance as the valley spread below me. It would be a good day to take a drive along the highway of my thoughts and see where they might lead me. Perhaps they would lead to untold treasures full of glittering gems for future lives I have yet to imagine. Perhaps the road would lead to fantastical new concepts for the garden or maybe I might finally be able to decide who I wanted to be when I grew up. In any case it was a perfect day full of bright autumn sun, just right for getting lost and searching out new roads.

I sped along that highway of contemplation with the crisp autumn air slipping through the windows to invigorate my senses. Golden leaves clung stubbornly to the bones of summer along hillsides rich with deep dark evergreens while my thoughts played along the rivers of possibilities.

With summer finally over I could reflect on what had gone well, what disappointed and what I might like to adjust. Should I continue with the plan already in motion perhaps making minor adjustments or would I dig up entire areas to redesign with the seeds of promise? Should I make grand sweeping changes or let the days mellow a while longer? It was all very exciting to play with new ideas that might bring wonderful color and vibrancy to my life. At times I enacted minor revisions to sections that had pleased me so far and at others I ripped out entire areas with reckless abandon. Sometimes I imagined wiping the slate entirely clean and starting over with a fresh palette. I continued to travel along this road eagerly following deep into its mysteries.
Silently a fog had begun to drift in, filling the open spaces between summer past and winter future. Then somewhere along the way my playful excursions of deconstruction and rebuilding became complicated and confusing. The rivers of possibility that had once been sparkling and clear were now harder to make out and the grand plans that I had imagined were becoming as shrouded in fog as the golden autumn leaves. I had entered a tunnel of uncertainty. What if I changed this thing or that and then found that I regretted it all too late? What if I made a mistake? Had I become complacent with my past successes and forgotten how hard they were to achieve in the first place? Maybe it was better to leave well enough alone and not risk losing the good things that were growing. After all, things had been setting root and blossoming in the fertile soil that had been built up. Surely there could be little wisdom in disturbing that.

And then another curve in the road suggested that just around the bend there might be something better and brighter if I would only take the chance. Isn’t that how opportunities are born, by taking a chance on change? The fog grew thicker obscuring visibility, smothering the light and I was alone staring mutely like a forgotten relic of humanity unable to decipher the forest of choices before me.
The fog grew thicker and I began to despair of ever making the right decision. Perhaps nothing would ever change. Perhaps I thought, this was as good as it gets. But then something did change and it changed without me. It changed all around me but not because of me. The multitude of possibilities that were as numerous and vaporous as water molecules in a cloud began to coalesce. They became droplets of miniature combinations and possibilities that plopped together to form pools of thought. They became rivers and streams that cut new paths into wild unexpected places. What had once been an overwhelming fog full of tiny bits and details too full of risks and consequences was becoming a full bodied flood of ideas. The light began to tear through the clouds bringing with it clarity even sharper than .

I could see new ways of looking at the garden beds of my life. Of how they played against one another or how they might be rearranged for greater advantage. A new path was opening up before me that had previously not been visible to me. It had always existed but remained unseen by me because I had been unwilling to look.

Searching out a new path means that you have to have the courage to get lost once in awhile. You have to be brave enough to consider a life without all that is familiar and comfortable. Searching for a brave new world requires that you take some risks and that you have honestly weighed the values of each and every thing. It means that you are prepared to spend some time lost in the fog while the seeds of possibility germinate in impossible places. It is here in the misty clouds of imagination that the precious gems of creation are formed.
The vision of creative ideas is organic in nature and needs freedom to develop. Ideas are living things and like all living things there is a special magic, a divine spirit that gives them life. They are seeds full of potential for a gardener who is ready with good soil and just the right placement. There are a lot of seeds out there and we are producing more every day. The question is; do you have just the right spot picked out and is your soil ready for growth?
Gardening sure is a lot more complicated than I thought.


  1. LeSan, Gardening is like life its complex and ever changing. Time and the patience to wait and see what happens are your greatest assets.
    As in gardening life is ever changing and evolving.

    Enjoy your evening,

  2. Your post makes me think of the song "Landslide" by Stevie Nicks. She had been contemplating change, too. Reading your words and seeing the photos made me ache; they were breathtakingly beautiful. (Was that a colt in the first photo?)

    My favorite part: *Searching for a brave new world requires that you take some risks and that you have honestly weighed the values of each and every thing*

    New paths can be a blessing; they make life interesting.

  3. Your words are, as ever, thought provoking and evocative - and strangely close to my own thought processes this year. Have you been poking around in my head whilst I wasn't looking?!
    There's an old Chinese proverb - 'may you live in interesting times'. I think we do that by the risks we take and the changes we make - be they in life or in the garden.May your life continue to be interesting :)

    Those photos are awesomely beautiful.

  4. LeSan, stunning photos and beautiful words of wisdom. Your footer photo is absolutely delicious. So happy to have found your site. Thank you

  5. LeSan,
    Gardening has taught me a lot about life's lessons. It is why I still keep perservering.Did I spell that right? I am enjoying the music on your blog, so peaceful and serene. Good choice!

    So much to learn from dirt and seeds.

    I appreciate the comments you leave on my blog. You are sweet!

  6. Hello,

    I love your outlook. You can not gain unless you try. I love the fog. It reminds me of growing up in California and the dense fog rolling in.

  7. What beautiful pictures you took while on your drive! I like your analogy between gardens and life. It sure can be hard feeling lost in the fog, but so rewarding once you find your way out!

  8. John~ that was a lovely comment. I especially liked this line of yours, “Time and the patience to wait and see what happens are your greatest assets.” There is so much wisdom in those words.

    Jewel~ I was very moved by your comment. Thank you so very much understanding. That is a horse in the photo. Colts are ponies right? Anyway, that’s Tucker our neighbor horse. He is around ten years old though no one knows for sure. He and his barn mate Jack come to the fence every morning for treats. In the fall the treats are apples from the orchards, Tucker’s all time favorite. He actually starts licking his lips when he sees me coming with them. LOL

    Nutty…my favorite Gnome~ as a matter of fact I was browsing around in your head. I’ve run clean out of ideas around here and wanted to see what you had going on in there. I didn’t think you would miss this one. It was just lying there doing nothing at the time so I took it. I guess owe you one. Heheh By the way, I always thought that was a Chinese curse. Glad you liked the photos. 

    Di~ Thank you for the sweet comment. I guess all of that must have looked familiar to you. We do get a lot of um, weather here but it can be amazingly beautiful in between the grays.

    Rosey~ funny isn’t it, how closely gardening is to living? To be a good gardener you really have to learn to listen to the rhythms of life. I am so relieved to hear you say that you like the music. I try to keep it mellow and non-invasive.
    You are most welcome about the comments. I enjoy reading your blog very much.

    Azplantlady~ Thanks! That letting go of the known to reach for the unknown can be tough some times though. LOL I remember a very thick fog once in Phoenix way back in ’71 or ’72. It rolled in on the ground and so thick you couldn’t see your feet. I thought that was pretty darn cool!

    Catherine~ Thank you for seeing that with me, there is just something about the two that make sense to me. One of the things I love about the fog is how wonderful everything looks after it lifts. We lose sight of the valley below quite often during the winter because of the fog and it always renews my appreciation for the view when it burns away.

  9. What beauty surrounds you ... I love the first photo with the horse in the fog... Is she yours? Your metaphors are lovely... the inner moods so connected to our outer world. Lovely piano too. All great photos! Carol

  10. LeSan,
    You do live in a beautiful place. The photos are amazing.
    Your words remind me of the Garth Brooks song, 'The River'. It's about following your dream...'I'll never reach my destination, if I never try'. That song spoke to me at a time I needed to make a decision.
    Gardens are that way, too. I can sit here and research plants all day. But, if I don't get out there a 'chance the rapids'...actually plant something, I'll never know what it can really look like.
    Thanks for sharing the beauty of your place, and stirring up our thoughts.

  11. Wow! You are a true poet. What an amazing and thoughtful post. Thank you for sharing it. The pictures were beautiful too.

  12. Another good post,LeSan! Good reading and wonderful pictures! Fog is something special. Love the picture of the birdbath and the rain. I smiled when I saw it, because I took a similar picture last month - drops of rain in a birdbath. Thank you for your comments on my blog!