Early spring days bring many small pleasures that I am always so grateful for: longer days and the warmth of sun rays just barely penetrating the still chilly air; sprouts and buds bringing signs of life and colour to the garden; new bird songs and chatter filling the trees.
These seemingly simple pleasures are much more complex than they appear to be. The more that I learn about the natural world, the more I am in awe of the amazing complexity that is involved in even the smallest of details. Every time I discover something new I realize how much more there is to learn.
Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
~ Carl Sagan
I will die, and this place will continue to dole out plenitude and beauty. Nothing bitter about this idea, but on the contrary, a feeling of gratitude and veneration. ~ Albert Camus
In this painting I tried to capture the feelings of tranquility and peacefulness that moonlight can create.
The moon is always a welcome sight in the night sky, especially at this time of the year, when the days are at their shortest and the nights are long and dark. There is something about the moon that has always seemed comforting to me. Throughout all of the ages of human life many among us have gazed up at it and contemplated our place in the universe.
The moving Moon went up the sky.
And nowhere did abide;
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside.
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
It seems like only a short time ago the first leaf buds of spring were opening and yet, all around me, the leaves are now turning brilliant colours and falling to the ground. For these leaves there is only one spring, one summer and one fall.
While I enjoy the fall colours of this year’s leaves, a part of me is already looking forward to the next spring which will follow the approaching winter. I’m not in a hurry for spring to come though, I don’t want to wish away my days. They seem to go by all too quickly.
Man’s life is like a drop of dew on a leaf. ~ Socrates
Of all the birds that I enjoy watching, the little songbirds are my favourites. When they visit my garden feeders they appear to be so delicate and fragile but they have the strength and perseverance to survive much adversity in the wild.
Instead of weeping when a tragedy occurs in a songbird’s life, it sings away its grief. I believe we could well follow the pattern of our feathered friends. ~ William Shakespeare
Our lives are often so busy that we don’t take time to relax. We rush from one commitment or activity to another believing that we don’t have a minute to spare. We wish for more time, yet we often feel anxious and guilty when idle. To slow down time we need to live as fully as possible in the present moment. Relaxing in the garden I am able to leave behind thoughts of the past or future, and can experience time more peacefully.
Nature requires us not only to be able to work well, but also to idle well.~ Aristotle
That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.
Sometimes life doesn’t seem to make much sense. Terrible things happen that change your life forever. And yet somehow, all around you things continue to go on the same as always. The sun continues to come up every morning, the garden keeps growing, and the birds keep on singing.
A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.
In my garden, the crocuses are among the first signs that spring is approaching. Early in the winter I start to watch for the first crocuses to appear. Their leaves often sprout out of the ground long before the end of winter but the flower buds wait for longer days before they emerge. When I see them start to bloom I know that spring and the return of warmer days will soon follow. They only bloom for a short time and then they are gone again until next year. As with many things in life that are long-awaited, I am often a little sad to see the last of them fade away. But while they are here, these cheerful little flowers make me smile.