A Chaos of Beauty

June 28, 2012

“What a chaos of beauty there is upon a June morning.”
— Louise Beebe Wilder, Colour in My Garden

And here are a few snapshots taken out of the chaos of color and beauty in Seattle right now:

Diaphanous pink Shirley poppy and bud

Pink Shirley poppies

White love-in-a-mist

Blue love-in-a-mist

Globes of allium

Allium

Clematis (I think?)

Foxglove

Foxglove and window curtains

“The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour.”
     — Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“All memorable events, I should say, transpire in the morning time . . .”
     — Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Sunrise over the Rocky Mountains, Estes Park, CO

Thoreau was obviously a morning person, like me.  I love those mornings when I wake unaided by an alarm clock, slip out of bed for my morning run around Green Lake, and return home before 7:00 a.m.  I love it even more when I then complete a task, such as a long urban walk, or a list of chores – showering, doing laundry, mowing the lawn, preparing meals for later lunches and dinners, writing letters, posting to the blog, enjoying breakfast – all before mid-day.  I feel a virtuous sense of accomplishment, I might even call it smugness, that stays with me for the rest of the day, regardless of other claims on my time.

Early mornings are always fresh beginnings.  Few people are about, the phone calls and emails have not yet started.  I like that I can awaken to myself, at a slow pace, before giving over to the demands of my job or family.

“Morning is when I am awake and there is a dawn in me.”
   — Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I made it a point to get up for the sunrise while I was in Colorado.

Last sunrise during my stay in Estes Park

“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity . . . with Nature herself.”
— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Finding Nature in cut flowers: lupine at the Phinney Farmers' Market

What a blessing to wake up cheerful!  Although I almost always wake up looking forward to the start of a new day, I wish I would awaken with Nature on my mind.  Perhaps this is easier if you live in a little house in the woods.  Too often I wake thinking about all the things I need to accomplish in the next 12 hours.  And when you live in a city, like I do, it’s all too easy to spend all day indoors, at home or at work or in a store or in the car.  (Gene Logsdon, the Contrary Farmer, recently wrote a blog post about this very problem.  You can link to his comments here:  http://thecontraryfarmer.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/skywatchers/)

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.  This makes it hard to plan the day.”
— E. B. White

I usually find my Nature-fix in small doses — noticing a flower in my neighbor’s garden, sampling a bite of fresh produce at the farmers’ market, listening to the cawing of crows . . .  But I think I could do better.  I do think it is restorative and important to spend more time in Nature.  I will take a lesson from Thoreau and make it a daily priority.

“Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of nature’s varied forms.”
— George Washington  Carver

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
— John Muir

“I thank you God for this amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”
— e. e. cummings