Each day the sedum autumn joy flowers are transformed. It has now changed from green to pink to russet.
I enjoy watching this transformation each year. In the spring the green stalks come up and form rosettes. Through the summer the tightly bound rosettes form stalks with tiny white flowers.
Then in September the stalks have singled themselves out from the mass and stand individually, the flowers on each stalk holding tiny bunches of flowers that go from green to white to pink and finally to russet.
I went back in my photos to find this plant in the spring after it first emerges in the container.
In the photo below, it has had some weeks of growth obviously. I couldn’t find an earlier photo.
At this stage I think it resembles cabbage leaves.
Then give it a few weeks and it looks like this…
It fills the pot and is symmetrical. I think it is quite beautiful. Then, below, the stalks form light green flowers.
And then the light green flowers turn white and then pink, as in the top photo. I think the leaves now resemble tongues.
Sorry if my commentary is so pedantic. This is my world. It is small, yet at the same time it is huge.
I have all of nature at my disposal.
I don’t live in the countryside and get to look out my window and see cows standing in the pasture. I live in the middle of a big city behind a strip mall.
Doesn’t call up a bucolic scenario, does it?
What is important is that I can go outside with Charlie onto the fenced patio and see so much that is of value to me. Because I am a gardener and a fierce lover of nature.
And really, no matter where you are, there is so much to see if only you open your eyes and look.
When I first showed you what is to the side of me, the alley that is the cement strip between my fence and the back of the strip mall, the view seemed a bit depressing.
I recall that many of you came up with ideas as to how I could hide it. I too tried to think of a way to hide it.
But you know what? I’ve kind of decided there is no reason to hide it. It is what it is.
The morning glories grow up the fence like a wild animal and grasp onto the gutter and then the roof. There is beauty there with that ugly wall as a backdrop.
That is the world in a nutshell. Beauty can border on ugliness, and vice versa. There can be but a thin line between the two.
As I stood out there this morning with Charlie, I saw a hummingbird fly twice over those morning glories, but it did not even pause or land. The hummingbird does not care that that is an alley between the fence and the back of the strip mall.
I stand and wait hoping I might see it again and suddenly a big black butterfly descends over the fence of morning glories, its wings as thin and delicate as the skin that shows our veins.
It did not land either, but I enjoyed watching it dip and rise and go over the other side of the fence.
I turned and saw a mourning dove on the top of the roof, its head tucked into its wings because it had just rained.
I saw wasps buzzing about the plants. I watched one land on the rock in the water.
I hear birds chirping, though I cannot see them. It is enough that they share their songs with me.
I have what I need. I am content. I’m never bored because look what I have to see and enjoy.
I may go a week without speaking to a soul, but I am not lonely.
The secret is in how you view your world. The secret to true happiness is that you stop and look and listen to what is around you. Let it fill you up.
It doesn’t matter that I don’t have cows out in the fields to gaze at. I can drive out to the countryside and take photos of them if I want.
All this to say that in my little world there is so much beauty. and that is enough.