Sometimes the shadows are deceiving. At first glance, someone might think this was a photo of late afternoon.
When it was in fact midday. What is missing from the shadows on the gravel path? The oval windows. These shadows are from the roof of this covered pathway.
Today was the end of a long week and somehow an even longer day. As I was looking through pictures of the many gardens I’d visited over the last couple of years, I found a group of extra pictures from the visit I made (and showed pictures of yesterday) while at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I miss the simplicity and quietness of that trip, being in awe of the garden’s beauty, and long for the lessons that a garden gives me. What I find myself longing for is a time of reflection. To look clearly at what is before me and not be fooled by the shadows – those things that are not real, those incidences throughout the day where something appears to be be true, but is actually a shadow of something else entirely.
A time of reflection to see what I need to see about myself and others around me
and to see that beauty can be beyond the obvious.
A time of reflection to examine the path ahead of me. Its destination is uncertain… but I know I can take the next step.
I find it ironic that the occupation that gives me such enjoyment – working with nature – is also an occupation that involves interaction with human nature that can be so hurtful. The joy of relentless hours creating beautiful landscapes can be lost in the tyranny of logistics, time sheets, unrealistic budgets, and the constant desire for instant gratification.
So these photos reminded me that what I need is to reflect on what is true: I love to create beauty with plants, I love seeing how landscapes can become reflections of life as they grow and mature, I eagerly take on the challenge and mystery of how plants interact with the enviroment they are placed in, I embrace the goal of matching my client’s desires with what I know is horticulturally sound and visually welcoming for the area that I am planting in. And sometimes I just get it wrong.
To bridge the gap between beauty and budgets, between creativity and human nature’s tendency to stick with what is familiar sometimes seems a distant goal. To believe that with hard work, knowledge, and imagination I can make everyone happy is a shadow. To know that I have done my best reflects my love for what I do.
I think tomorrow I’m just going to work in my own garden.