"Gardeners , like everyone else, live second by second and minute by minute. What we see at one particular moment is then and there before us. But there is a second way of seeing. Seeing with the eye of memory, not the eye of our anatomy, calls up days and seasons past and years gone by."
- Allen Lacy, The Gardener's Eye, 1992, p. 16
I've been making an effort recently to live in and appreciate the moments. "Time marches on" is a cliche but a true one. Sadly, we are often oblivious to time's movement. There's a wonderful old Kodak commercial set to the song "Turn Around" (see it and read my blog post about it here) illustrating the role photographs play in rolling back time and helping us preserve our memories. I've always loved family photographs, even photographs of relatives I never met and can't identify. When our children were small and my husband was the primary family photographer I complained when he took pictures that didn't include people. I didn't see much value in photographing landscapes and scenery without at least one person in the photo. Now he teases me because I take hundreds of garden photos every month and rarely do they include a human face.
No, you aren't likely to see a face, but when I look at those photos I do see a part of myself. I've invested a big piece of my spirit in this landscape outside our windows. As I browse through photos and see how that landscape has changed over the last several years I go through a range of emotions. I remember the joy at the first butterfly sighting, at the first bloom from a seed I planted, at the first hummingbird visiting the feeder. I remember the overwhelming sadness and anger at the loss of beautiful trees. I remember the hard back-breaking work of clearing grass and preparing the first flowerbeds. And I remember most of all how it all lifts my spirits and satisfies my soul.
This afternoon I took a look back at what I posted in June of last year and came upon this post that shows photos of the same view from our second floor balcony in its first two seasons.
This is the photo from 2008, the year we started the bed in front of the fence.
And here are two pictures of the same area taken this afternoon.
Yes, time marches on - the garden grows and changes and as it does it changes me.
It teaches me to be patient, to accept change, to recognize my limitations,
to see the beauty in the detail as well as the whole.
It reminds me of the circle of life. It inspires awe.
It teaches me to relish the moments both now and in my memory.