Rain!

Rubus lineatus in rainI had some fabulous plans for today. First, I was going to work in the garden, and in the late afternoon, I was to head out to a plant nerd event at the Bamboo Garden. This, I looked forward to all week.

Myrtle leaves in rain

I woke up early  to a wonderfully cool morning. Before anyone else was awake, I had grabbed my coffee and headed outside. I started tearing in to a spot that had been bothering me for a while, when all of a sudden, it started to rain. Rain! Rain! OMG – rain! How many months has it been? With a big grin on my face, I kept working, in blissful disbelief. After a while, I was drenched, but who cares – right? It’ll probably stop soon…

Clematis seed head in rain

But, it didn’t… it was mid-afternoon before it slowed down. By then, I was filthy – completely covered in mud, dripping wet, and absolutely exuberant over the progress I was making. I couldn’t tell you how many pots had been planted, but I was on a roll, and didn’t want to stop. And that miserably messy side yard was starting to look pretty decent. Finally!

Artemisia 'Sea Foam' in rain

By about 4 pm, I realized that it was probably time to get ready to make the trek out to the event I had looked forward to the entire week. And guess what? I didn’t want to go. I was so happy in my own creative zen that there was nothing I’d rather do, than exactly what I was doing. Come to think of it, I hadn’t eaten all day either, and barely realized it.

Melianthus leaf in rain

Dracaena leaf in rain

Back in the day, when I was a student at the Columbus College of Art and Design, I met who was to become my dearly beloved soul sister – Kat. She and I were pretty much inseparable. Except occasionally, when I’d come to pick her up, she wouldn’t want to go to wherever we were going. She would rather stay home and paint. I would do my best to persuade her, but more often than not, I would fail. I admired her discipline. Stupid me! It wasn’t discipline – she was in her “zone”! I guess at that point in my life, I hadn’t yet found my bliss. She had – it was as simple as that.

Edgeworthia leaf in rain

Dracaena leaf in rain

As I gleefully trampled around in my muddy garden, I thought of Kat and how long it took me to understand that it wasn’t a matter of discipline at all (although she had plenty of that as well, when she needed it) – it was creative euphoria. It took me over a decade to figure out what gives me that unabashed joy that makes time stop, and the world fade away, but better late than never, I suppose. Four years ago, in July, she died, the world lost a talent of great depth and dimension, and I lost a dear friend, and constant muse and inspiration. Perhaps it was because it was July that it felt like she was there with me today? Or more so, that I was with her…  Sounds silly, but – as another dear friend who also experienced the traumatic death of  a loved one, says – the body remembers. Knowing that she is gone still hurts like hell, but in moments like today, I realize how very much alive she still is – in my mind. Sure I cried, but sometimes it takes a good cry for the mind to remember. And, much like the rain, a few tears wash away the dust  and make the memories sparkle.

Lotus vine in rain

Even back then, Kat knew that an open channel to ones inner muse is far more exhilarating than any external stimuli will ever come close to being, and should be cherished. Today, as the rain was pouring, I had an inspired encounter with my inner light, and it was wonderful. I am a little bummed to have missed my event, but I know there’ll be others. A day of uninterrupted creative bliss is such a rare beast, I just couldn’t bear turning my back on it.

Black Colocasia leaf in rain

 

Abutilon in rain

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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16 Responses to Rain!

  1. Evan says:

    I was surprised that we actually got rain, and even more so that it amounted to more than mist. Almost three quarters of an inch at my house! I love being “in the zone”. It’s so satisfying. There’s no better feeling for me. I get lost in what I’m doing instead of lost in my own thoughts. I planted a few things yesterday that I knew would be ok even if it gets hot again, which it’s supposed to, and had a brief moment in the zone, but other than that it’s been awhile. I’ve been dissatisfied and frustrated holding myself back until fall. But I know if I did all the planting I wanted to do, I wouldn’t be able to keep everything watered in my big yard. I’ve been using the time to plan, which is good, but thinking about all the things I’d like to do sometimes just increases the frustration. I’m just starting to learn how to utilize the new greenhouse. I think I’ll be doing a lot of propagation until fall, take a break to plant things, and then return to propagation in winter. That and I need to get out to some of those events. Haven’t made it to any garden tours this summer. Too lazy to drive the hour to Portland on a weekend.

    • annamadeit says:

      I so know what you mean, Evan. I’m a little worried about the watering too, but we’ll be gone for a week in August, and I figured if I don’t get things in the ground, they will never survive the expected heat wave. Ugh… How wonderful to have a greenhouse! I want to get into more propagating too – it is so much fun when you actually succeed. I started easy, with some fuchsias, and want to learn more. 🙂

  2. hoov says:

    Beautiful rain sprouts beautiful memory.

  3. Kris P says:

    Your photos communicate the beauty of the rain and your relish of it. Your words capture the power of memory and the role nature often plays in triggering it. I’m glad you took full advantage of your time in the zone.

  4. rickii says:

    I’ve always hated that Joseph Campbell expression: “follow your bliss”…as if there were any choice for those fortunate enough to have found theirs. Beautiful post, and stirring memorial to a treasured friend.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Rickii – it’s true. I admit to being a bit envious of those who find their path early in life. It took me a long time… I guess this is why I’m so upset with the current trend of schools cutting out anything that is not measurable in terms of “performance”. All the good stuff that we had growing up – shop, home ec, fun electives etc. – where we could explore different avenues of interest – have been budgeted out. All they offer now, it seems, are the subjects that can be tested. No wonder kids are forlorn…

  5. FlowerAlley says:

    I so needed this today. I still had tears on my cheeks from crying about my cousin’s death. I do feel his presence and miss him terribly. This meant so much to me. Thanks for sharing.

    • annamadeit says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin, but I’m glad my little musings were timely. As long as you remember, he will still be alive in your memories. 🙂

  6. Alison says:

    I’ve been stuck in the summer doldrums here, with some of my plans for the garden stuck in a state of suspended animation. I remember what it’s like to be in the zone, unwilling to stop even to eat. I usually stop only when I start to feel faint from hunger. So sorry about the loss of your friend a few years ago.

    • annamadeit says:

      Thanks Alison – yeah, I’m still reeling from that one… Can you believe it – it is raining here again, and this time, it’s coming down with a vengeance. Hopefully you will get a fair share of this up your way too – it will make for fabulous gardening conditions, when all is moist and saturated again. Maybe you could get a day of delirious joy in the garden before the next heat wave strikes? I hope so… 🙂

  7. Thanks for such a lovely post. So sorry for your loss of Kat. Yesterday’s rain also prompted me too reflect about life, plants and loss of a gardening friend. Reading your post this morning reminded me of the spirit of my garden friend Steve Antonow:

    http://raingardenartsblog.com/2014/07/07/remembering-steve-antonow/

  8. annamadeit says:

    Thank you, Bart! We are lucky to have had a kindred spirit in our lives – even if only for a limited time. I enjoyed reading your tribute to your friend Steve very much!

  9. rindymae says:

    Gorgeous photos. I know exactly what those type of days in the garden feel like, and it makes my heart skip a beat just thinking about it. A true taste of heaven. I’m sorry for your loss, although, it sounds as if the friendship was most definitely a gain.

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