Listen to the MUSN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me –
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.
– Shel Silverstein
I have been contemplating retiring come next summer. It will be a big change and I think I am ready for it. I am keeping a journal and plan to write a memoir as there are many my age and a bit younger getting ready to retire. Of course by retire, I mean retire from your first job and look for another path or dream to fulfill, at least for me. Not sure what that next step will be just yet.
But as part of the journey this year, I am also trying to continue on the path of finding my more authentic self. I have made great strides, but I know I still have lots of work to do. Dealing with perfection is one of these areas. I have always striven for that elusive dream of perfection. And with it came the long fall down to reality. There is no such thing as perfect and the more you try to capture perfection, the further away you will be from it. You are on the unending loop of dissatisfaction.
See perfection is all in our own perception. Many times in trying to be perfect, I would dwell on the negatives and how imperfect I was. But really we are not perfect or imperfect. We are merely on our life’s path learning lessons and trying to find ourselves. For me I dwelt too much on the perfect path and the perfect memories. And it really wasn’t perfect. I remember more good about my childhood than bad and that is a good thing. It just seems perfect maybe because I lived in the moment and found the joy and beauty of each day as a child. So perhaps that is what I need to find again. It is there behind a thin veil waiting for me to focus on it again and let go of the so called perfect world I have been driving myself to find.
I think there is no better place to find perfection than in the garden. That is because you will actually never really find it. The weather, pests and diseases can foul things up quicker than you can blink. One good wind or hail storm and your perfect garden is gone. Early tomato blight can wipe out a crop and so no tomatoes for the season. This year we are dealing with the record heat and dry weather. Flowers are blooming early, if at all, so all that succession planting is off schedule and there goes perfection again.
And of course my idea of perfection is different from others. It is one reason I shy away from the latest trends in gardening because it is all about what we each find beautiful and what our priorities are for our gardens. I cannot achieve the garden magazine look of no weeds and the perfect combinations. I have found my perfect garden is more about being in harmony with nature. That has brought me those wonderful moments in the garden where I can be lost for an hour following a spider, watching birds, frog, chipmunks…or simply look for the stunning views of the sun lighting up the foliage and blooms.
I tend to find perfection in my garden through trial and error with more emphasis on the error. What I find I don’t like or what didn’t work teaches me so much more. I cannot see the beauty in my garden without seeing the negatives or mistakes. And these trials and errors teach me to go with the flow, learn the lesson and accept that this year maybe there will be no sweet peppers but look at all the eggplant.
So I thought I would celebrate the beauty and perfection of my garden by taking a different look this time through the foliage. The part of the plant missed during times of intense blooming. I am linking in with Pam@Digging for her Foliage Follow Up on the 16th, and Christina@ Creating my own garden of the Hesperides for her Garden Bloggers Foliage Day on the 22nd.
The foliage in the vegetable garden is especially beautiful because of its importance to the plant in helping it produce the fruit we so longingly wait for. I started growing a rather unusual Asian long eggplant this summer that suddenly grew to be quite dangerous….check out the pictures of the foliage below:
And if that wasn’t disconcerting enough I noted them also growing along the stem. Be careful around this garden veggie.
I love the fuzzy colorful leaves of the eggplant even the thorny kind. Isn’t this Italian variety just beautiful as it unfolds, and much less dangerous.
Another great leaf to watch grow is the bush bean. I love the tufted look of the leaf, and as it grows it smooths out completely.
And then there is okra where the outline of the leaves reminds me of a maple leaf.
I love the texture of the sweet potato leaf. Silky smooth compared to the fuzzy/hairy tomato leaf below sparkling in the setting sun.
And lastly in the veg garden is the airy grass like texture of dill as it floats and drifts from the stem. And oh the aroma and taste.
There is nothing more perfect on my hydrangea foliage than this gorgeous critter. Especially since there are no flowers this year on the mophead hydrangea macrophylla.
The real lesson of perfection is not to get caught up in the fantasy of perfection. We can continue to move ahead in our lives knowing we will fall, but in getting back up we can become wiser and happier having gone through that fall. It is in the imperfections that we find the true beauty of our lives.
“A beautiful thing is never perfect.” ~Proverb
Other foliage featured in the post from my garden:
Beginning of the post-
Beloved ash and maple trees surrounding the meadow
Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus
End of the post-
Large hosta catching the setting sun
I hope you will join me for my posts, every other Tuesday, at Beautiful Wildlife Garden.
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