Photo Meditation on Hope

Fall blooms: Russian Sage and Sedum

Fall blooms: Russian Sage and Sedum

This morning I stood in my garden and the clarity of light reminded me of that morning fourteen years ago when I watched live as the second plane hit the second tower. But I didn’t want to dwell on the darkness of that day, which ripped deeply into my psyche and wounded me with fear for a long time. Rather, this morning I chose presence, gratitude and thankfulness. I never considered myself a green thumb. Yet, I designed and created this garden space out of a dark, dry corner and it is bursting with life! It blows me away: me, creator?

In spite of what we lost fourteen years ago there is also so much more in the world that seeks to inspire us, to nudge us forward and demonstrate that life, order and beauty always prevail out of loss and destruction. Call it the Universe’s DNA.  Remember those creatures present at Earth’s last extinction event?

The survivors pressed on. Life finds a way.

I do not intend to minimize anyone’s grief here.  I have walked that valley and thought I would die, because that’s what happens when you lose someone close, right? Over the years I have found solace in the beauty around me, sought out natural beauty, because it overwhelms the grief and communicates a peace, a knowing:  It’s going to be okay.  I have to believe that our loved ones who have passed beyond The Veil don’t want us to wander forty years and nights in despair (at losing them or at the state of the world).  Rather, they would adjure us to look up and out, to let the sun warm our bones and fill us with light, hope.  They would encourage us to be light and hope.

My garden and favorite places (Kauai’s North Shore, a seawall on Okinawa, a North Carolina beach at sunrise, the Milky Way above Pico Duarte at night) override my cynicism. They are my safe places.  They remind me that nature never gives up or gives in. Only human beings do that.

Some photos….

There are actually five bumblebees in this shot. The lovely pollinators.

Metamorphosis in action. A hornworm parasitized by brachonid wasps. This caterpillar would have became a beautiful, large nocturnal pollinator: a sphinx moth with a 3-inch wingspan. Instead, its life is not wasted, but given. Balance.


I have never seen watermelon flowers this color. They look like morning glories.

I call this pair of watermelons “The Girls”. They rest in their own EEE-sized cups on a trellis.

Garden path. Note: the last three pears. Baxter and Freddie are buried under the weeping cherry, named The Giving Tree.

Morning glories and mint.

Molly sunning her bones next to the strawberries. I was working on a short story at the time, and we enjoyed the low humidity and lack of mosquitoes.

Gotcha! Found out who has been digging up my garden beds. He took a sniff at the tomatoes and turned away. He dug something up out of the soil (a sphinx moth pupa or a fallen cherry tomato?)

Finally, Em’s artwork.  She took this photo at our lunch out today.  She’s my living, breathing hope.


Photo: Em – “Lunch with Mommy”

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