This is that time of year when we all resolve to live joyously and peaceably, and I so resolve. I list my resolutions, noting well the first that pop to mind. I shall do no harm to myself or others. I will walk daily to discover beauty, taste grace. I will write daily, read daily. I vow to eliminate sugar from my diet (is that even possible?), eat vegetables locally grown, rice and millet, only eat soy if it has been fermented. I will laugh more.
I leave my house before 9am, hoping to find flowers happy in the new sun, and I am not disappointed. I expect to find only tiny flowers, nestled in strong waxy green leaves, thus protected from cold winds and icy night fogs, and I do. Small cheerful laurel flowers make me smile, but it's the flush of thousands of pink white bloom blanketing the ordinarily sedate jade plants that makes me laugh out loud. There is perhaps nothing more delicate, more hopeful, more joyful and ironically perhaps more robust than a jade plant blooming wildly in the dead of winter. It's a plant ready to dance.
Arriving home, I see that my Iceland poppy, stalled in bud stage for weeks, has sprung suddenly into spectacular bloom. I sit for a while on the steps, basking in the sun, thinking of nothing in particular, enjoying the flicker of sun as it settles into crumpled paper-like petals of the poppy, so exuberant, so brilliantly almost-fire-red. I hope the second bud unfolds tomorrow before noon; it's wonderful to have the sun so early and so close to the ground.
If I glance to my right, I see my struggling rose, still damp with yesterday's rain and last night's fog, has also decided to bloom. A pale and perfect New Year bloom. If the poppy is the sun, this rose is my moon.
How pleasant to have day and night at my elbows.
How joyous to watch as seasons refuse the crisp divisions we humans have afforded them, instead join hands like cautious lovers, glancing shyly at one another. Spring poppies, summer roses, bare winter branches, happily at home with one another. There are even still the red leaves of autumn, made even more brilliant by empty spaces left between. Where once was green, now bare branches scratch up against blue sky. Winter cannot overcome the fall; spring is always pushing through and summer is never far behind. Our California seasons are a symphony.
May the coming year be alive with marvels, wonder, joy, and peace.