Sunday, October 19, 2008

Discovering Dahlias

This Spring I was out shopping and came across some Dahlia bulbs. I bought a couple of packs, planted them and forgot about them.
What a wonderful surprise it was to see these magnificent flowers bloom. In all I had 5 different varieties, each more beautiful than the next.
In growing them I found things I need to do differently next spring. I need to stake them because they grow tall, and the blooms especially the ones from the Dinner Plate variety are heavy and weight the plant down.
I was amazed to find out that there are at least 36 species of Dahlias and that there are 19 distinct bloom forms recognized by the American Dahlia Society.

As winter settles in I hope to learn more about these Beautiful Flowers and dream of the new varieties I will be adding to the garden.

Dahlias In My Garden

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Memory of Butterfly Wings

After 12 years of living dialysis free, I faced transplant failure. It was difficult to accept for I knew very well the life that was awaiting me. I would once again have to go through the process of hemodialysis week-after-week, month-after-month, and year-after-year. I struggled through the feelings of anger, hopelessness, and finally acceptance. I thank family and friends for being there, for holding my hand and wiping away the tears...

But, most of all, I'd like to thank a Butterfly.

I clearly remember the day. It was warm. The sun was shining brightly, and I was kneeling in my garden pruning the Shasta daisies. My heart was heavily burdened, and my Soul felt like it could never be mended. How could I face going back on dialysis, being tied to a machine again, week- after-week, and month-after-month?

As I tended to the flowers, a Butterfly came fluttering near the daisies. I was surprised, for she came so close and began dancing around me. Every so often, she would come and land on my hands. As I watched her, I noticed that, although she had a broken wing, she danced as if she was perfection. She played with me for a while and then, just as she came, she flew away. I cried there in the open sun for she reminded me of myself, a Soul with broken wings.

She came to visit me that afternoon to tell me "fly" in spite of your imperfections, "dance" in spite of your limitations, for life is beautiful and worth dancing to. An important lesson, God's message sent to me on Butterfly Wings, a reminder that Life goes on, that the sun still shines, and that, after the storm, there are still rainbows to be seen. That no matter how winding the road, within us is the strength and the courage to carry on.

My Essay was the First Place Winner in the Third Annual Essay Contest entitled, "TOUGH TIMES--A Memory or Dream That Gets Me Through." The contest was made possible by support from Watson Pharmaceuticals.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Garden

As the leaves turn to beautiful hues of orange red and yellow, a kind of sadness fills my Soul as I say goodbye to the garden. It was beautiful this year filled with glorious flowers, Morning Glory vines swirling their way through the fence and Monarch Butterflies visiting the Zinnias and the Cosmos every afternoon.

It was a beautiful garden indeed but with the arrival of winter there is the dreams and hopes of the coming Spring.

My Garden Flowers