Had to put in a quiet Eve mention somewhere. Being in gardens, so lush and fertile and beautiful, surrounded by dozens of species of flowers, trees, bushes, and other flora, I often think that no wonder Eve bit from the apple of knowledge and fucked everything up. Ignorance may be bliss for some, but not for me. I want to know about everything. What tells flowers it’s time to bloom? Why are some petals soft, others rubbery, and others thick and dense? Why do humans enjoy causing some sort of terror to every living thing, whether it be tramping on gentle flora or ruthlessly carving our names on the bamboo in the gardens?
Regardless, yesterday Liang, Deb, and I all spent some much needed time outside in the gardens at school. We smelled all the blooms and quietly meandered and took pictures of each other. It was a lovely afternoon of quiet in the midst of what feels like multiple storms.
Going South to California I was astounded by all the green.
Montana is essentially covered with mud, ice, or snow for 6 months of every year and the field of color around me seems to dim. It was almost shocking to feel warm green grass on my bare feet on a lawn in early March! My time there was spent marveling at all the growing things- orange trees, birds of paradise, succulents and cacti taller than me. Of course, I was allergic to it all, and quickly had to go on Benadryl but that didn’t matter.
Being around living things, whether they be flora or fauna, will always be my favorite. I love nature and all she has to offer, and it seems like every surface was teeming with something! There were dozens of bees swarming over the birds of paradise, having a feast, and there were wasps bothering you at breakfast.
Also side note: The squirrels at Scripps were enormous. About 3 times fatter than the Montana ones (which are downright scraggly creatures). They were sleek and bold and ate so well! As a result, there were some gorgeous and sneaky hawks perched in places you wouldn’t see right away that would quickly swoop over the bushes towards their well-fed prey. It was really neat to be sipping coffee outside the dining hall and see a bird of prey just come down so silently. I loved it.
Now I’m back in the land of ice, snow, and mud, dying of a cold in my bed. My car is dead from something (battery hopefully) and I might be medicated up to my non-existent gills but I don’t think I’ll forget my lovely foray into such a warm, lush place.
I am better at being alone when I am surrounded by living things. The loneliness really sets it when everything around me is silenced by winter, snow, and ice. I can hear my thoughts reverberate and they become exponentially bigger. While at times I love the echoing feeling of winter, it becomes its most oppressive in January and February.
I miss being with living things, feeling river rocks and tree bark and the textures of leaves in my hands, smelling the dirt and decay of fallen things on the forest floor. I used to pluck petals from flowers and hold them until the color bled into my fingertips, and in comparison this Montana winter seems jagged and harsh.
I need to get out of Montana soon, if only for a few days.
Everything here is dead. (I mean flower/pretty plant wise).
I mean, dead. It won’t re-appear or re-animate until maybe March…but that’s a stretch. To cope with this bout of lifelessness here in Montana, I periodically post sappy photographs of pretty naturalia (natural things). Today, it’s flowers. If you can’t handle the cheesiness of them, I suggest you go play Tetris or make some hot chocolate or do something – anything- else. This is going to be pretty, it’s going to be sappy, and it’s going to be repetitive.
Also, I sadly do not know the names of a lot of these flowers. If you want to get all horticultural on me and spread your knowledge, let me know so that I can properly identify the flora! Thanks!