Thursday, April 30, 2015

...Nature with a bit of philosophy, poetry, and a picnic...

This month Professor Z’s assignment is a focused on NATURE. I love being in nature and consider my small backyard garden the best *room in the house*. I grew up reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. In undergrad, I learned about the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber and read his book I and Thou. It still resonates with me today. Buber explains that humans find meaningfulness through our relationships and all of our relationships bring us ultimately in a relationship with the Eternal Thou, God.  There are two ways of existing: I-It and I-Thou. In the I-Thou experience we relate to each other as authentic beings. I meet you as you are and you meet me as who I am. The I-It experience is the opposite in that we relate to one another as objects, completely outside of ourselves. I point this out because Buber used the example of a tree. At the time I recall thinking how perfect that example was. Some people don’t really look at trees. They know that they’re there but they aren’t interested in having a relationship with a tree. Having an I-Thou connection with a tree brings us closer to God because they, like us, are part of the universe and that’s pretty darn magical. I remember a professor explaining that God was in the hyphen. When you connect with another or connect with Nature, it was I-(God)-You. I always liked that especially when it comes to trees... and maybe the Iris blooms in my parents' yard.

Grass  ~ Carl Sandburg

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.

Shovel them under and let me work—

I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg

And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.

Shovel them under and let me work.

Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:

What place is this?

Where are we now?

I am the grass.

Let me work.

This time of year, I’m ALWAYS out in my garden. While I’ve always had allergies, I’ve never minded sniffing here and there to have my windows open and my face in the flowers. But, this spring has been different; I’ve been pretty darn ill nearly the entire month of April. First a virus and allergies and now just allergies… but today… TODAY! I cut the grass in my backyard. It wasn’t pretty y’all and I won’t describe how I looked any more than to mention that I had tissues tucked in my nostrils. But the grass was taking my backyard back to nature so before I went to the third doctor’s appointment of the month I got to work. That’s when I realized, “hey! I must be feeling better”… and I am. Just in time too! Today, my azaleas started to bloom. I’ve been bud-watching for days and this morning POP here they are.

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.  Some see nature all ridicule and deformity . . . and some scarce see nature at all.  But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself." ~ William Blake

The tree pollen has been very, very high reads my weather app which I already knew anyway because the trees were moving me to allergy-induced tears. Their beauty makes it worth it. I took a picture of this tree in a friend’s yard last week. 

This weekend I'm thrilled that I will be able to attend the Hollywood Cemetery Picnic.


  1. I'm really glad that you are feeling better and I am super excited about the picnic at Hollywood on Sunday. The weather promises to be scrumptious!

    Here's your snapshot horticulture lesson for the day ... it's not the showy flowers that cause all the pollen problem. These have pollinators and get the job of fertilization done very efficiently. The wind-pollinated plants are the culprits, as they produce profuse quantities of pollen and spread it to the winds, hoping for some of it to land in a receptive spot on a neighboring plant. (In the past, I've known guys who behave like this.)

    1. Connie, you just got me to choking I was laughing so hard :p We'll have to plan a meet-up at the picnic!

  2. What a great idea, holding a public picnic at the cemetery! I hope our historic cemetery will at least allow my steampunk group to picnic there. Glad you're starting to feel better!

  3. :) This is truly lovely. I really like what your professor said, that the Divine is in the hyphen. As a pagan this reading strongly resonates with me. Heck, it's a very Jungian reading if you think about it.

    I'm glad you're feeling better and that you'll be healthy and well for our trip. Thanks for participating!

    1. Thanks!

      Yep, I love ol' Martin B.'s ideas. Smart guy.

  4. graveyard picnics <3 we arent even allowed to take photos of the wonderful statues in most of them :-(

    1. Wait, what? No pictures? Really? What's the reasoning.

      Most cemeteries around here don't allow rubbings which I get... it wears down the stone but pictures! Wow.