Wednesday Vignette – the indomitable force of life

Spent a wonderful Saturday in the garden. I guess I can say it was productive in the sense that I filled both ours and the greater share of our neighbor’s compost bin. At the end of the day, I did some more weeding. By mistake, I pulled up a few Nasturtiums, and like the rest of it, it ended up in an old nursery pot for now. Since there isn’t an inch of room left in the compost bin, I was thinking that when the entire neighborhood rolls out their bins on garbage pick-up day, I could hopefully sneak it into one of the others. Nasturtium Yesterday (as in three days later), in the evening, I happened to walk by it outside. To my surprise, I saw this perfectly beautiful Nasturtium glowing in the twilight, atop the wilting pile of refuse. If there was any logic to anything, this uprooted beauty should look like the others – but it didn’t. Here is this flower, in the midst of death and decay, days after its life is violently disrupted by forces beyond its control – and still, it shines on. Unsought, and given the past week’s horrendous event, witnessing its grace and fighting spirit made me think of the grieving families and friends, left to pick up the pieces after the Charleston massacre. Suffering excruciating pain and despair, they have no choice but to go on facing the world that caused that pain with senseless violence. In that moment, the Nasturtium that refuses to back down and die, somehow became a symbol of the power, strength, and love within the Charleston community, as they suffer through the aftershocks of this unspeakable tragedy. The will to live is remarkably strong in all living things. Only time will tell whether it is strong enough in all of us to live and let live – and to trump the ugly face of blatant as well as covert, institutionalized racism.

(Seriously – check that short little video link out – what it covers is pretty astounding…)

About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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21 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – the indomitable force of life

  1. Peter/Outlaw says:

    A beautiful comparison and tribute to those trying to deal with the tragedy in Charleston! Our gardens and plants teach us so much! Unfortunately the link to the video yields a message that it’s unavailable. My WV contribution is here:

    • annamadeit says:

      Oops – thanks for letting me know, Peter. I tried to post another link. It works from here – hopefully others can see it too. It’s a good one!

  2. b12alley says:

    We all have to grow where we are planted. That tough little Nasturtium was reminding you of that. Then you shared the life lesson with us. Thank you. My heart has been hurting,, too.

    • annamadeit says:

      So true… And it is truly tough as nails. Looking at it through the windows, and it is STILL just as fresh as in the photo. Its resiliency is amazing!

  3. Pauline says:

    Our hearts go out to the people of Charleston, we hope and pray that common sense will prevail and everyone can go on living just like your little nasturtium.

    • annamadeit says:

      I don’t think anyone can make sense out of what happened, but one can always hope that the next time someone is in desperate need of mental health care, s/he will get help before it is too late. It blew me away when the message from the church pulpit was to reach out, educate and forgive. It takes a big heart to say that – especially so soon after.

  4. Alison says:

    Aren’t Nasturtiums great little plants? I love them. A fitting tribute to the spirit of the people of Charleston. My Wednesday Vignette is here:

  5. Kris P says:

    That’s a great parallel for the resilience of the human spirit, Anna. Here’s my Wednesday Vignette:

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Kris! Can you believe it – now it’s Thursday morning, and it is still open. And – another bud has opened too. I really should pull it out and replant it…

      • annamadeit says:

        Tried to comment on your Powderpuff post, but I’m not sure it worked, so I’ll add it here too. I have the same love-hate relationship with my inherited Japanese Snowbell. Love the flowers, but the seedlings drive me nuts!

  6. Chris Maciel says:

    You’re right, I often find things in the garden that become symbolic. Certainly the way plants behave is always inspiring, the way they find perfect niches in which to plant themselves, for instance.
    Very good of you to share your thoughts with us today!

    • annamadeit says:

      It’s true – it often doesn’t take a lot to make a struggling plant happy. Sometimes it’s just a matter of moving a few feet in one direction or other to make them flourish. Even if they are hobbling along at half speed, they don’t seem to give up easily. As Darth Vader would say – the Force is strong within you! This morning that Nasturtium was still looking fabulous. I think I’m going to go and rescue it!

  7. I’m glad that the tough little nasturtium and your garden brought you some comfort this week. This was a lovely tribute.
    Here is my Wednesday Vignette:

  8. Elvis says:

    That simple but beautiful little nasturtium is a fitting tribute to life force and a sweet reminder to look beyond today’s sorrow. My Wednesdat Vignette is here:

  9. To honor the dead in Charleston we need to take whatever action we can (starting with our votes) against those who promote racial hatred and resentment – especially those who benefit from it politically. Thanks for this post. Here’s my Wednesday Vignette:

    PS – love the nasturtium!

    • annamadeit says:

      About the voting, I am SO with you, Jason. Good grief – when are we going to deal with the lack of access to mental health care, gun laws, racial profiling and the like…? Every time something like this happens, I hope it’s the last time, and every time I’m wrong. So sad for their pain. I seriously think if we raised a nation of gardeners, we would be a much more peaceful people. Maybe that’s what we need to do? Make it mandatory to care for something living from early years, on. Might not be a bad idea…

  10. rickii says:

    Guns into plowshares…in a sane world that would be an idea whose time has come.

  11. Evan says:

    A poignant image and comparison, Anna. Sharing my contribution late:

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