Thursday, 20 January 2011
Every Plant has its Time.
The time for this plant is now.
It is Christmas Box, or Winter Box (Sarcocca humilis), and it grows in a quiet, sheltered corner of the garden where I generally forget all about it.
Then, one morning, this morning, I go out into tepid sunshine and the air is filled with a wonderfully spicy fragrance.
It doesn't look much, and its flowers are tiny and not very decorative, but its power is awesome.
Two small sprigs of it sit in the winter indoor jungle that is my kitchen table, and the house is filled with fragrance.
How can such insignificant flowers emit such strength?
In the depths of the winter garden it is possible to overlook the signs of hope and of new life. It is the slight warmth of the sun that triggers the scent, and I am reminded again of the miraculous adaptations in a small garden.
One corner catches the sun and holds the warmth. A few inches away, and the temperature falls and the wind blows across.
Even the smallest garden holds a myriad micro-climates, enabling plants to live at their own pace and to benefit from the good times.
Similarly, in the depths of a life it is possible, sometimes easy, to overlook the good things, the important things which have to power to enrich my days.
A little while ago (not so long before my 70th birthday) I acknowledged the fact that some doors were closing for me. I no longer think that I might be a ballerina or a concert pianist, but I still feel full of possibilities. I still think of some other people as being 'grown-up', whereas I might not be. Not yet.
So the good things, the sheltered corners, the rich soil of my life are my family, my home, my friends.
They are the morning sun in the garden, and a fat thrush eating sultanas on the bird table.
They are a good book and a wood fire, a happy telephone call and a hand reaching out to say 'hello'.
They are rooms full of scent from a drab little plant that I forget about until it comes back to life and brings me with it.