Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
Nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small. We haven’t time – and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.
I still remember the revelation of college (no, not beer pong) when the art history professor showed slides of Buckminster Fuller roadsters alongside art deco toasters to illustrate 20th century humans’ views of nature and industry. Even a lowly toaster, with integrity of meaning and lines, can speak to our souls.
My first gardening article, for the Op-Ed page of a local Bronx paper, was inspired by the Japanese observance of Cherry tree blossoming, called Hanami. In years past, families moved the futon under the backyard cherry tree and camp out together watching the tree transform above them from budbreak until spring winds showered silky blossoms on their faces. What a way to wake up!
Today’s modern Hanami festival involves colossal picnics in public orchards, spots for which are brokered like World Series box seats by prominent corporations to impress clients. More consumer-friendly, more mass-market, I’m sure the young turks use the time to scope out the hotties, but still. In the days of the New Busy Global Village, so much time set aside to look at flowers.
Some of my most contented moments are the ones absorbed by looking, feeling, and touching the moment with five, six senses on a good day. Could be weeding in the garden, having to touch every blade to see if I’m pulling crabgrass or drumstick allium, feeling a decadent yarn slip through my fingers, or enjoying the the warm weight of my 6-year-old son curled in my lap. (My 8-year-old son only cuddles these days when he’s lost in a fever.)
These all are fleeting moments, as irretrievable as a missed bus, but as wonderful when savored as warming feet by the fire or an ego-melting kiss. But it’s up to us to steal them from obscurity.