05 September 2009

The Garden-room of the Heart

I must be one of the most horticulturally illiterate souls ever to venture a written word on the subject. I know the merest handful of plants and flowers by name, and the great majority of them not even by sight. Mind you, this is the same fellow who, not too many posts ago, presumed to give forth on the subject of the "best" (read: his favorite) English poets. And on the topic of "Nature," of all things!

Yet there is something about this business of quietly growing things that won't leave me alone. There is something in particular about flowers growing wild in places where we may least expect them - places that may seem abandoned, or run-down, or neglected. Or maybe just places whose peculiar loveliness - perhaps - has yet to be duly noted or appreciated. And yet see how they come to life, not just in the hands, but one might almost swear under the gaze, of the right Admirer. What is it about creatures like these, that when you allow them another kind of place, one inside your heart - a place where they can not only be seen for themselves, but can also, as it were, see you for yours (ah, but which Self?) - that makes you feel all of a sudden privy, even for a brief moment, to one of the oldest secrets of the Universe?

Eventually, of course, there will be nothing to stop us from manufacturing flowers in our own anthropocentric image: flowers of such mathematical perfection - of curvature and angularity and symmetry - as will make us wonder why we'd ever bothered with the old, nature-and-grace-dependent varieties. But then we will no longer be in on the Secret.

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