Autumn brings a physical change in the weather and Midwest landscape. This week a nearby condominium replaced summer flowers with these hardy Mums. They are hardy officially but still considered as annuals in the Chicago area; they aren’t “hardy” enough for Lake Michigan’s winter temps. Other flowers are in their final bloom cycle as blossoms fade in color and turn to textured seed heads bringing a new element of design and pattern to the garden. During this time of change, pods begin bursting so that puffs of feathery seeds are dispersed in hopes of ensuring future generations. Among the fading petals and growing seeds there are some late bloomers adding perennial colors to the scene.
Embrace the changes in the season. Embrace changes that are natural. At this time of year, it’s easy for me to be reflective and to realize changes in my life and myself during the past year. Somehow this “end” of season time of year brings renewed energy and purpose to me. May you marvel and feel empowered from your own changes this past year. May you find energy and passion to be able to embrace changes in your life. May change be positive and meaningful for each of us.
I write all this realizing it’s a challenging time as we strive to come to terms with other’s choices and decisions. Other’s choices can make us feel dis empowered and hopeless. We always have a choice in how we react to others and their actions. The fact that we have our own power and choice is what keeps me optimistic.
Tough and strong are not the usual adjectives used to describe Daffodils, yet they perfectly describe their nature. Their bulbs are considered lasting in the garden because they are ignored by squirrels who prefer to dig up tulip bulbs. My focus on these spring beauties is on their stem and flowers’ resilience. Warm days followed by snow are typical of Chicago’s springtime weather. This can test both the heartiest Midwesterner as well as spring blooming plants who all seek the warmth and cheer of springtime sunshine.
Over the years I have learned to resist running outside to rescue daffodils lying on the ground frozen in a coat of white. It seemed a kindness to cut them, place them in a vase filled with warm water, and set them nearby to ensure their beauty would last a few more days. I underestimated their resilience.
These images show their falling blooms under the weight of fresh snow and ice followed by their return to upright stance and brilliance the following storm-free day. This analogy serves me well when I feel that trials are weighing me down. They may melt away in time if I stay strong. This spring these blooms have survived three consecutive rounds of sun and snow followed by more sun. Wow!
One petal on the Cranesbill (geranium) stubbornly hangs on by a thread.