Sunday, June 22, 2008

Using a Broken Heart

Separated lovers cheat absence by a thousand fancies which have their own reality. They are prevented from seeing one another and they cannot write; nevertheless they find countless mysterious ways of corresponding, by sending each other the song of birds, the scent of flowers, the laughter of children, the light of the sun, the sighing of the wind, and the gleam of the stars - all the beauties of creation. - Victor Hugo

Separation. When the heart is broken. When love is removed and you are emptied of its joy. When the emotions of hurt, anger and grief flood in to refill the dark pit inside. When you start to build a dam to shut out feelings.

To live in such fear precludes healing. The truth is, it is impossible to seal out love and live in happiness. In A Path With Heart author Jack Kornfield wrote , "Our hearts can grow strong at the broken places."

Hurt comes to us all. I am certain that many a suburban sprawler has soothed a sour soul through interaction with the soil. As we found it. Turned it. Amended it. Planted it. Garden and gardener in healing interaction. Dirt becomes soil. Soil becomes a garden.
Tending the garden can more than make up for any intrusion the home in which I live made upon once virgin land. By lovingly tending this modest suburban plot- offering up food, water, nesting and shelter- this created a greater Eden than would exist without our home here. This last photograph is of Matilija poppy. It loves what we have lots of in California- Sunshine. And it doesn't need much of what we are spare of- water. With crepe paper delicate petals and sunshine yellow stamens- its billowy flowers resemble an ostrich egg served sunny-side up- it's clear bright colors offer a jubilant smile- a welcome contrast to the parched plants which neighbor where my garden abuts parched undeveloped hillside terrain.

A native of California hillsides, Matilija poppy can be tricky to establish. Buy now, while it is in flower. But try to hold off planting until the fall, when you have a better chance of success the first go-round. Then be prepared to be wowed this time of year from now-on.



8 comments:

shara said...

I've thought much the same things about painting, actually. I didn't really begin to teach myself to paint until after my mother died, and I've often considered writing (among so many other similar considerations) writing a book about painting in the midst of grieving. and the poppies are lovely, I wonder if they'd grow here? I know the orange poppies bloom wild on the sides of the road. though I suspect they'd like more sun than they get here, in order to be truly happy. can't beat this climate for ferns, though, they grow to incredible sizes, hang out of the trees and look so lush and gorgeous.

Lydia said...

Nancy Stoops, a local marriage and family therapist just published a book on grieving. That was the inspiration to put the thoughts together.
Matalija poppy is a bush that loves it miserably hot, scorchingly sunny and almost parched- like our coastal foothills- where there are sporadic stands which come into bloom this time of year. Where it is happy- the shrub can stand as tall as a rhododendron in Seattle. For lots of head-turning varieties of poppies- many of which will do well in your region- check out Annies Annuals (Richmond, California). Annie does mail order. Thank you for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

A very nice comment from Oregon. Nicely done. I like it, I like it. What a wonderful word picture you draw for us suburban dwellers. Gardens provide numerous benefits for the "doers" and the "lookers". We can all have our own secret gardens and you're bringing the best of yours through pictures and scrumptious descriptions. Thanks. Edda

Lydia said...

Thank you. Every lesson that is important can be learned in the garden. Including that pain is necessary to forge gratitude and appreciation for beauty: both humble and grand.

Anonymous said...

This is a soothing post, Lydia. Reminding me that solace can be found in my new backyard. I am heading out there now!
xoxo Debra

Lydia said...

Thank you for the note- enjoy your new garden. It is lucky to have you.

Loving Annie said...

I would absolutely love a half-acre of gardens around my home... Oh the bliss that could be created, and tended and delighted in...

Lydia said...

Welcome to the site Annie!

I am fortunate to have close to a third of an acre to keep me endlessly entertained.

Lydia