Said the Lady to the Man

When Nature gives a gorgeous rose,
Or yields the simplest fern,
She writes this motto on the leaves—
To whom it may concern!”
And so it is the poet comes
And revels in her bowers,
And, though another hold the land,
Is owner of the flowers.

John Godfrey Saxe

To whom it may concern, and darling, this concerns you. Today I write of the Athyrium filix-femina, better known as the lady fern. Hers is a quiet beauty. Unlike a rose, she does not dazzle with showy and sweet smelling blossoms, nor does she need to. She’s been around for 60 million years — she knows what she’s doing. Her hardiness defies her fragile looks and delicate nature. Give her a damp, shady environment and she will grow in abundance. The lady fern is native to northern regions of North America, Europe and Asia. This lovely lady is well travelled.

It’s easy to see the beauty in a gorgeous rose. The everyday beauty you bring into my life allows me to see beyond the obvious. More and more, I am drawn to the simplest fern. Everywhere I look is a memory of you, of us, and a dream of our future. So let’s settle in and embrace what is simple and enduring. When we find the grace and elegance in everyday life, we are bound to thrive.

Light Talks

Thomas Aquinas says something I want to say to you in a poem called, What Does Light Talk About?

When you recognize her beauty,
the eye applauds, the heart stands in an ovation,
and the tongue when she is near
is on its best behavior,
it speaks more like light.

What does light talk about?
I asked a plant that once.
It said, “I am not sure,
but it makes me
grow.”

When I see you, I promise I will recognize and honor your beauty. My eye will applaud, my heart will stand in an ovation, and my tongue will be on its best behavior.

It will speak like light to comfort and encourage you.

Go Round Again

The Virginia-born musician, Swamp Dogg, has just released a new album called “Sorry You Couldn’t Make It.” John Prine joins him on two songs, and in one them they ask life to let them go ‘round again. “Oh life, won’t you afford us another chance? Everything we put our hands on, we blew it. Women, jobs, money, friends, and we knew it. Acting crazy and talking dumb all the time.” I can’t sing a note but I’ve hummed that refrain before. Life, please afford me another chance.

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The other morning I noticed a flower spreading its petals toward the sun. It seemed to me to be lifting its arms toward the heavens instinctively embracing the day with no worries about getting to go ‘round again. I guessed it was filled with a heaping-helping of gratitude for whatever the day would provide. Not a wasteful use of one’s time and energy.