Once In A While

Once In A While

October 30 2021

But once in a while the odd thing happens Once in a while the dream comes true And the whole pattern of life is altered Once in a while the moon turns blue

W. H. Auden

One of the best things your garden can do for you is to get you outside your head and any obsessive thinking you might be prone to. This is the voice of experience, I am really, really good at obsessive thinking and no good can come of that. Luckily for us, it doesn’t take a blue moon for this to happen. On a side note, a blue moon is when we have two moons in one month or 4 in a season. This happens because the moon takes 29.5 days to complete a cycle and months are a day or two longer, every 30 months or so there are enough days for an extra moon.

Anyway, once in a while the forces align and we can get a glimpse of the workings of the universe and I truly believe this can’t happen if we are too much thinking of ourselves. I also don’t mean you have to sit and meditate, contemplate god, or go be of service to someone (nothing wrong with these pursuits, of course). Maybe you’ll be pulling weeds and look up, maybe you’ll be planting another rose, or maybe you’ll be sitting (rather exhausted) in your porch swing-doesn’t matter, just be aware of all the life buzzing (perhaps soundlessly) around you the same as it has for eons and know that you are an infinitesimal part of it. Even the ordinary becomes magical.

Speaking of ordinary (yes, we were going to get around to plants) consider the ubiquitous daisy. Such a simple and cheerful flower. I am speaking of the Leucanthemum genus, there are other flowers called daisies in other genera. Though native to Europe, they have naturalized all over North America, including the ‘wild’ one in Montana, Ox-eye daisy. Our common Shasta daisies were hybridized by Luther Burbank who spent seventeen years crossing four different daisy species to create the tall pure white daisy he would name after California’s Mt. Shasta. Imagine, seventeen years and over half a million plants! I’ll never look at those daisies in my yard the same way again.

Maybe whether or not we see things as extraordinary or merely mundane is just a matter of choice. And maybe once in a while we’ll be suitably awed at the world around us- if we just let our minds go there.

Leucanthemum x superbum, from the Greek ‘leukos’ meaning white and ‘anthemon’ meaning flower

Photo: full moon setting at 4:30 am, June 24