Sunday, April 28, 2013

The flowers speak...

"...If we had our eyes and ears open, then the flowers would speak to us, as would our possessions and money; 'even the grains would talk to us: Be joyful in God, eat, drink, use me and serve your neighbor with me!'" Oswald Bayer

Working among the lilies of the field, the roses of the... well of something and even the ivy of the back fence, there are times when they start talking to me. Our discussion sometimes is one sided as to they are letting me know I haven't been taking good care of them or else I am letting them know that with all of my sweat, tears, water, fertilizer, and love; they refuse to do their part and bloom. For the most part our conversations are amicable though. I tell them anecdotes I've hear recently and they politely laugh. I think it's a little like Geico. They state that will all of the money you save, your wallet would like to (now it has been a bit, so I'm not quoting exactly) give you a high five... the kind that burn so good... but they can't. Wallets don't have hands. Flowers and trees and ivy would love to slap you on the back and take a walk down memory lane, but with the limited society they entertain, they don't hear new stories very often and don't usually become great orators.
No, this isn't a plug to instruct everyone to move their plants around a lot so that they get more of a mixed society. I believe in finding the perfect spot and leaving well enough alone. "Then what is this?" you may want to ask, but being polite you might say something like, "This is very pleasant conversation, but no doubt I'll be able to read it in your memoirs under the chapter 'plants I have plucked the gowns fine with'. Perhaps you could get to the point."
To which I would respond, "You haven't grasped the nub? Well let me explain."
Earlier this year, or perhaps late last year I read a business/life book on Kiazen. Kiawhat? I don't have a full grasp on the subject, so those of you who know it better will laugh at my ignorance - don't worry, I get a good laugh at my ignorance also and my wife tries not to laugh too often - but it a nutshell Kiazen is a Japanese word and technique that describes doing one little thing at a time so that you achieve incredible results without even trying. Thus we avoid the try really hard for two days then give up method. (The book is called, "One Small Step Can Change Your Life" by Maurer)
One example is a person didn't like to exercise so they started by just standing in front of the TV instead of sitting down for one minute. Then they walked in place for a bit, then step, by step they are now an avid "get up early and exercise" type of person.
Being one of those people who like to get busy, but then give up kind of people, I have to some extent tried to implement this. Then I started trying to wok on our ivy.
Years ago, when I was a little lad, my dad decided it would be nice to have a tall wire fence in the back yard, and then to plant lots of ivy so that it would be a living fence. Sounds nice, but a lot of work. So he had my brother, sister, and I do it instead. Then we pass through time as only memory can and we see the ivy growing, punishment for not eating your vegetables being to go out and wind the ivy through the wire fence, and the ivy growing more. Now it is not so much an ivy fence, but an ivy continent or perhaps an ivy juggernaut. It laughs at trimmers and scorns the poisons. Its roots go deeper than the mariana trench, its branches are as thick as Arnolds (when he was Mr. Universe) biceps. "He turneth not aside for any, but strideth forth fearing none." His favorite song goes something like "tum te tum te tiddly, I fear no foe in shining armor, though his lance be bright and keen." Though sometimes he forgets the words and sings "though his lance be sharp and clean."You are telling yourself, he is exaggerating quite a bit. But that is not all. No, he also has another defense. The first time I went to prune, I cut a few of the tiniest strands with the greatest of effort and a bee came out and stung me right between the eyes. Yep, its a fact.
So this is the year of the Pig and of the ivy. I will use Kaizen to get the ivy down to a lovable huggable size. I have been going out for 10 minutes every night, except the ones I forgot or did something else, and been cutting away at the ivy. I am almost 1/2 way done! Yes, progress is almost visible  I have to decide what to do with all of the toxic waste and how to prevent it taking over our toolshed and finish pruning the other 1/2, but after that herculean feat, the job will be done. 10 minutes at a time will work. You will notice that ivy doest things slow and steady and wins the race, but I will also be slow and steady and will win. Ivy has taught me its own undoing. Ha, ha ha, or even bwahahahaha.
So the moral of the story is talk to your flowers and they my tell you a good anecdote and teach you a lesson or two!


  1. I like your methods. It really has become a living fence...just like your dad wanted! Your efforts will pay off and you'll feel like a conqueror of sorts! Cheers, Jenni

  2. I feel the same way about my asian jasmine. I think it's evil - but I planted it, so maybe I'm the evil one? Anyway, I like your method. Maybe I'll take 10 minutes to tame my beast tonight. Good luck with the rest of the ivy. I hope no other bees are lurking in there!