On harm, and vulnerability, and survival.

008

Someone I care deeply about has been harmed.  It has rocked my world, because the harm is deliberate.  The cover-up has been calculating.  There is no remorse.

So I woke up this morning feeling battered and bruised.  I want to take away the pain, but I can’t.  I want to confront the people who should have protected, but haven’t.  There is no outlet; no course of action that will make this ok.

I also woke up to arctic conditions.  It seems we are in for a battering of icy winds and sub-zero temperatures.  So I put on my gloves and my warmest jacket, and did what I always do when I need to think.  I went into the garden.

The garden will probably react to the hostile conditions by going to ground.  It will do nothing for a week.  It will just sit it out, weathering the storm.  It won’t try to put on new growth; it won’t waste energy with opening buds, but will keep them shut tight.

We tend to see our state of mind reflected back at us in the garden.  So this morning, I noted the vulnerability of these self-seeded Crocus tommasianus, braving it out next to the malevolent rose stems.  Look at their innocent white necks, so close to the thorns.

023

The crocuses are shut tight against the frost now, but later, if the sun comes out, they will open wide their blooms, and show the glowing filament within.  It is as if they are saying to the rose “I know you are armoured and brutal, and if you get a chance you will gouge me, but we are just going to sit here, doing our thing, enjoying the earth, opening to the sun, regardless. Because that is what we do.”

And then I saw these Scilla sibirica, nestled in the fur-coat of lychnis foliage.  Scilla, or ‘Siberian squill’, are the daintiest little bulbs, half the height of my little finger.  But what power they possess.  As I walk up the path, they glow like disco lights, electric blue.  I don’t think there is any blue flower, even in the height of summer, that can throw out such wattage.  This morning they appear to be cradled and weeping, but I know that within a day or two they will take their own weight and stand tall.  There are smaller buds by their side, ready to shine in support.

002 (2)

This lupin foliage is frosted, but the thaw is coming.  The melted frost collects as water droplets in the centre of each leaf.  This will trickle down to the base of the plant; perhaps to the roots.

The sun has a habit of highlighting what is most alive.  Look at the new red shoots of Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Pupurea’.

In a few weeks these will open the brightest lime-green you ever did see, all the more vibrant for their dark background.

And the verdant shoots of hemerocallis:

There is such energy in their upwards thrust.  They might pause in this freeze, but the only way now is up.  This is the life-force, the will to survive.

And then, the real take-home message.  I have been admiring my fellow-bloggers’ wonderful photos of Iris reticulata, (netted iris) over the last two weeks.  I saw no sign of mine.  I didn’t plant these; they were a lucky inheritance.  They were not mine to lose, but I missed them all the same.

I had given up hope, thinking that I must have done something wrong.  Maybe I carelessly put a spade through them when planting out last autumn.  But this morning, as if they sensed my need, here they are.  They have survived.  I should not have doubted myself, or them.

007

And what survivors they are.  They have such perfect three-dimensional structure, probing upwards and outwards and downwards.  They have an innate self-belief.  They possess cold logic, and a core of fiery passion.  They are spiky, and to-the-point.  They have grace.  They cannot control the climate or the conditions in which they grow.  They just have the will to survive.

You can give them a helping hand.  They like a well-drained soil and plenty of sun.  And careful with spades.

Taking this iris as my guide, I will sit tight.  I don’t have to get bogged down in the quagmire of someone else’s making.  I have done everything I can.  I can do no more.  We may need to hunker down whilst the hostile conditions prevail.  We may need to huddle together and lean in, and get support from one another.  But there is hope.  We can carry on.

The freeze will be followed by thaw.  The frost will turn into water droplets, and these will trickle down to the roots.  The bulbs will hide, and look like they are lost.  We will feel that loss, dreadfully.

But then one day, when we are least expecting it, they might reveal themselves to us, and bring joy to our hearts once more.

This post is dedicated to all those who are suffering, who have been harmed by others, who have suffered the neglect of those who should have helped.  Huddle in over the next few cold days and weeks.  Feel the warmth from others.  Get through and survive.  You are more than what has been done to you. 

29 Comments Add yours

  1. bcparkison says:

    We will make it. We always do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali says:

      I know. It is good to be reminded.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your tough but good words.

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you, Alison. That was a tough one to write.

      Like

  3. shazza says:

    Oh dear, I hope the person will be ok.
    The Spring squill ~ I saw some today. Or passed those vibrant blue flowers in somebodys front garden. I wondered what they were. And now I know , thanks to you. X

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Once seen, never forgotten. They’re easy to grow too, and they naturalise (self-seed). Thanks, Shazza.

      Like

  4. I enjoyed reading this so toankyou for writing it. It is food for thought for us and a recommendation to get some Scilla for next year. Best wishes, Julie

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you, Julie. Glad I have spread the Scilla love!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Susan Beard. says:

    I am sorry you are feeling helpless at the moment,. I send best wishes to your friend who is having a hard time. I have that blue dwarf Iris also…such a gem.

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you, Susan, for your kindness. Yes, that is the right word – a gem.

      Like

  6. Sarah - Mud, Cakes and Wine says:

    It is such a hard position to be in and your pain and frustration must. Be hard to get your head around. Thank goodness we have our space to escape x

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Indeed, Sarah. I am very lucky to have my garden and family and friends, and count my blessings every day. Thank you. Xxx

      Like

  7. So beautiful to see the connection between plants and ourselves in this way.

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Yes, I don’t know what the plant equivalent of anthropomorphism is, but I can’t help but do this!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jodi says:

    Oh Ali – so thoughtful and poignant – the photos – so beautiful and fragile -and so analogous to life. Your heart is beautiful.

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Jodi. ❤️

      Like

  9. halulamalula says:

    Beautiful writing, what a great analogy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali says:

      That is very generous, thank you.

      Like

  10. Powerful, encouraging message. Our gardens do tend to mirror our states, and maybe even the other way around. I’m happy we have gardens to go to for comfort, clarity, peace and therapy. I’m sorry about your loved one. Huddle in, as you say. The warmth will soon return. Peace, Cheryl

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Cheryl, this is exactly what I go to my garden for. The clarity is something I would not have thought of, but you are right.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. CG says:

    Thank you – a great write, and a lovely read

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you CG. That means a lot to me. 😘❤️

      Like

  12. Ali: This is beautiful! You are such a lovely writer, and this meditation was so heartfelt, enhanced by the pictures, and extremely helpful to me. Thank you!

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you so much Shelly. I am honoured.

      Like

  13. Chloris says:

    Sorry to hear you were feeling bruised, the garden is a great healer.
    Your little Iris reticulata could be ‘Harmony’, but I am not sure. I have had some that are a really deep blue and some that are more this colour. I don’t know whether this is because they are variable or because they are sometimes misnamed. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Chloris! ‘Harmony’ can be its working title unless proven otherwise!

      Like

  14. Ali says:

    Thank you Chloris! ‘Harmony’ can be its working title unless proven otherwise!

    Like

  15. Rupali says:

    Thank you for sharing your words with us. We all need to heal ourselves from time to time.
    Good wishes!

    Like

    1. Ali says:

      Thank you Rupali.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s