Back To My Garden

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It seems as if it has been a year since I last had a morning stroll in my garden. I’ll start by saying that I’m sad that I can’t manage to post every day. Part of the reason for this is that I simply have too much work to do. Insurance claims, learning to manage my personal finances (a strange new experience for me) and a hundred other time consuming duties call on me to spend an average of twelve hours a day at the computer or chasing down details.

However, the bigger problem is that I’m finding it difficult to extract much enjoyment from life. I know that this will pass as I get over the steep mountain of absolutely necessary busy work and can get a glimpse of the peaceful valley beyond.

Just outside my front door, there is a hibiscus bush with deep red flowers. It also sports freckled variegated leaves. Here is the blossom which greeted me this morning:

In the background at the right of the reproductive bits of the hibiscus flower you can see some blossoms of my night-blooming jasmine.

My friend Val Jerram has cautioned me against viewing every obstacle to happiness or seemingly onerous task as a problem.  She suggests instead that I see them as challenges.  I did not really understand this until I began to apply a long forgotten technique from the days when I was battling crippling depression. The trick is turning it around.  For instance, one of the obstacles to happiness is the seemingly insurmountable problem of learning to manage the rather complex personal and business finances about which I have been absolutely ignorant for more than three decades. Eunie was so good at managing all this and did it so effortlessly that it didn’t seem worth my attention. I am now paying for the luxury that I enjoyed for so long.

So, applying the technique of turning it around, I am trying to view the obstacle as an opportunity to take charge of my life again instead of rapidly drifting into a truly hopeless situation. Only a modest learning curve and entering a few hundred transactions into bookkeeping programs stands between me and the confidence that I so desperately need.

Around the corner from the front steps is another hibiscus bush with outrageously hues leaves:

What is that  all about?

Out by the little round garden with a candlestick tree in the middle are some small white hibiscus. Bees are usually swarming around these in the morning. Today they must have been sleeping late:

You can see some bees feeding on these blossoms here and here.

And, of course, no stroll through the garden would be complete without the orange lilies:

I need a holiday.

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21 Responses to “Back To My Garden”

  1. Sue Fletcher Says:

    What a beautiful, beautiful garden you are blessed to enjoy! 🙂

  2. Steve Goodheart Says:

    MadDog, I really admire the way you are going at these “mundane” things and seeing them as an expression of your life and wholeness. Very, very skillful, which you know, by now, from your Buddhist friend, is about the highest complement! lol!

    Love the flowers….added to my huge Jan M. collection….be strong, my friend. The metta is still coming in strong for you and your life.


  3. Bill Spinks Says:

    Truly, a beautiful garden. It may seem an empty blessing…I hope you still see the blessing that it is. I’ll keep talkin’ to the Man about you.

    -Rozta’ bill

  4. pvaldes Says:

    I’m still here

    Being a non-English native speaker to try to write about some themes can be a minefield. I simply can not to be so subtle or precise as required by the situation, and talk about other questions can be seen as an exercise of triviality, but anyways I’m enjoying also the crazy leaves of your Hibiscus “cooperi” and the discrete presence of the Cestrum nocturnum in the background …

  5. pvaldes Says:

    … This last plant is appreciated also in the Mediterranean Spain, we call it “Dama de noche”. Most of the time she disappear in the garden between more colorful buddies but in summer nights its green flowers can be detected at 10 yards by its delicious and strong scent. In a similar way, as a recent reader of your blog, I had see Eunie appear several times and say hello before to return to the backstage, leaving its own invisible “fragance” in your life; a ring of comfort, happiness and protection…

  6. pvaldes Says:

    … Now she can not protect you. You must to wake up and learn again how to walk and run. Hoy to enjoy all enjoyable things and how to endure and stand all the obnoxious things on the life. Yes, for sure, you need a holiday, you can bet it. You have a lot of hard work waiting.

    So take the first step now, pick a cup of coffe, or tea, or some sweet,…

    go out…

    breath deeply, feel the humidity of the night

    and smell the jasmine.

  7. Walt Says:

    Hi MadDog … nice to see you still posting, and glad to hear you have so much support around you. It must be very difficult to pick up the pieces and carry on, but it sounds like you’re doing a good job of doing what you gotta do. I guess it’s one foot in front of the other …

  8. Madcap Maven Says:

    Hi, MadDog,
    You certainly know how to garden. The flowers are beautiful – all the ones you post are – and the hibiscus leaves may just be a rainbow; a little “smile” just for you!

    A couple hundred entries starts with the first one. Divide them into small chunks, do just one chunk at a time and link finishing the chunk with something you enjoy: “When I’ve made 10 entries and filed the paperwork, I’ll [morning] stroll through the garden, [evening] watch the sunrise.”

    P4:13 praying for strengthening.

  9. Steve Bennett Says:

    Your first Hibiscus Maddog, I too have in my garden. Thanks for sharing the photos of yours.

  10. MadDog Says:

    Madcap Maven, I wish I could take credit for my garden, but it’s really the creation of our house helper, Juli. I do like your suggestion of not taking trying to eat big bites of the paper work. I should snack on it and then reward myself for gulping it down.

  11. MadDog Says:

    Walt, you are right. If I’m going to continue living, then there are things I gotta do. If I make the steps too big, I will fall on my bum. It’s baby steps for me and leaning on my friends.

  12. MadDog Says:

    All very good advice, Pvales. Thank you. I only wish that I could smell the jasmine. I lost my sense of smell earlier this year to a severe sinus infection.

  13. MadDog Says:

    Pvaldes, I think that you are referring to the plant in the background of the image of the red hibiscus. We call that Night Blooming Jasmine. It is indeed very fragrant, but I can no longer smell it. (see my other comment).

    Eunie loved good quality perfumes. Everybody at work commented about the beautiful fragrance coming from her office. She did more than smell good. Her personality and her loving-kindness were like sweet fragrances.

  14. MadDog Says:

    Okay, Pvaldes, I now see that you are referring to the first image. That is the one with the Night Blooming Jasmine in the background. I think that your English is excellent.

  15. MadDog Says:

    Steve, I love the hibiscus. There are so many colours. There must be a dozen different hues of the nearby my house. If you put “hibiscus” in the search box you will find many posts containing hibiscus images.

  16. MadDog Says:

    Rosta’ Bill, my house helper keeps the garden. I never lift a finger. Yes, it is a “normal” blessing and I thank the Man Upstairs for it. I’m having long conversations with him these days.

  17. MadDog Says:

    Keep that metta coming, Steve, my friend. I’m feelin’ weak, man. I’m glad you say that I’m behaving in a skillful manner, and yes, I’m very familiar with the term in Buddhist thought. It is, indeed, a complement and an encouragement and I take it as such.

    Stay tuned. Your collection will continue to grow, if a little slower for a while.

  18. MadDog Says:

    Sue, I’m very fortunate to have a house helper who is also a good gardener. Juli keeps my garden a blessing to me.

  19. Rose White Says:

    That red hibiscus is surely large. LOL. I also have some of those but they are all pink and they surely look really amazing. I also have some sunflowers and three of them are almost taller than me already.

  20. Susie Messersmith Says:

    The pics are just beautiful, Jan. All of you are still in our prayers.

  21. MadDog Says:

    Thank you, Susie. I appreciate the prayers. I have a long, rough road yet to go. I know that you understand fully what I am going through.