Garden Long Views & Short Views

Reflections of heaven through our trees

I have been taking a number of pictures the past few years and have discovered how much we miss as we drive by our lives. I challenge everyone out there to go on a five mile walk around your own neighborhood. After you have done that, go do the same thing in a friends neighborhood, then at the local park, arboretum and anywhere else there are trees, plants and nature. You are all missing it. If you don’t believe me, maybe the pictures in this article will demonstrate to you how much you don’t see.

I will get to the gardening part of the article, but first need to send out a message to all those people who have said in the recent past “how fast their summer has gone.” Who remembers saying “how fast time flies by.” Those statements are demonstrations of how much you are all missing by being self absorbed in your own sheltered universe (not necessarily a bad thing, at times) . The lesson I am about to bestow upon the world should be life changing if you can see past the words into the cosmic depth of the idea (too deep? I hope not).

Time appears to move past us more quickly because we become so narrow in our views. That’s it. Here is the second challenge. Take one day at a time and begin to look beyond your computer, your smart phone, your kindle, your makeup or shoe choice, your tie and or your watch choice. I know it sounds like I am preaching.

Can you see it?
Plum Tree view to heaven
Beech Tree (Fagus Sylvatica), inside a miniature elephant.

It is time to ask our children how their day was. The questions are secondary to the actions of actually sitting down, looking and listening to them. They have changed. In the few hours since you last saw them, they are different. HINT. Time seems to move by so quickly because we have reduced the amount of life, love and joy we let into our lives. Time to wake up and see all the things around us we take for granted. Some of my photos demonstrate how I have let the world back into my life. I can tell you I loose a lot less time when I pay greater attention to things. It is all about perception.

Japanese Maple view to heaven

This article is designed to reintroduce you to the world around, which we pass by every day. I live in the Northeastern part of the United States, so my view may be different than yours but there are parallels to the ideas. Your world has a plethora of stimulants that you pass by all the time and don’t take the time to acknowledge. You may think this is a crazy way to begin a garden article but I say stop and consider where you are right now and listen to all the sounds going on around you. Turn off the music and the television and listen. If you can’t turn off the music and the television, close your ears and just look at all the colors, forms, textures (people) around you and take in their uniqueness. NOW YOU ARE LIVING A LIFE WORTHWHILE, even if for a brief moment.

Weeping Mulberry (Hand designed over 11 years)

Garden Long Views and Short Views refer to how we look at the gardens and landscapes that are around us all the time. Long views are when we are in the car, the train, the plane or the bus. I could venture to say even when we are walking our dog or taking a bicycle ride we are in long view mode. We are not looking too closely at our surroundings. Be young again and get on your knees. See what the children see. A grand world of wonder and mystery. Try to imagine what views an ant or caterpillar may encounter. This is the thinking I want you to begin to envelope. Surround yourself with this naiveté. Take in and overwhelm yourself with all that you have probably been missing. Just be careful not to overwhelm your seances, since they have been denied so much for sooo long. Trees, gardens and landscapes have so many things to show us. All we have to do is commit to the world we live in.

Rose of Sharron (end of August)
Parrotia persica view to heaven

If you choose to take on this assignment, you will begin to understand and then be able to see all that I see every day. I miss it sometimes, but am always practicing my short game (golf reference). It is true. Within the short view lies all the mysteries of the universe.

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