In Memoriam; Honoring Fleeting Beauty

We’ve said goodbye to many important public icons this past year and I’ve lost personal dear ones as well. It certainly feels like the passing of an era. Words fail me, in an attempt to honor those that are gone, but I am comforted by a passage from Mindfulness In The Garden, by Zachiah Murray;


Beautiful flower,

you teach me so much.

May your equanimity ground me

in the face of life’s impermanence.



pink cammelia with ants


Murray writes; “As we watch the beauty of a flower come to life in our garden, we are often touched by the brevity of its visit. Soon the flower’s petals will float to the hungry earth, becoming compost for next year’s garden. From the opening of the bud to the dropping of the petals, we witness the unfurling grace of impermanence.”


pink camellia tree


“Like the flower, our bodies are of the nature to grow old, die, and be cast off….The flower’s elegant entry and departure in our garden offer us an example of how to gracefully embrace the impermanence of life, including our own.”


pink camellia petal


“…through experiencing the memory of a beautiful gardenia… the gardenia lives on in us long after it has withered and fallen to the ground, our loved ones also live on in us. Memories – words, scents, hugs, and emotions – live on in our heart and body long after we have parted. In this graceful way flowers teach us the art of living beautifully with impermanence.” —Zachiah Murrary


camellia blossoms fallen


May we all find solace in natures example and lovingly remember beautiful blossoms we have known.  Here are my own important people who have left behind their gardens this year.


white blanca lillies with fence


My mother’s kind neighbor Edith passed away in spring and left behind a small but lovingly tended garden that produced luminous white lilies that bloomed on both sides of the fence, just a few days after she was gone….as if in a beautiful farewell.


whilte lillies with stipa grass


Auntie Dolores left behind a long established garden, in the classic Portuguese tradition of prolific fruit trees and small religious statues. I will always associate the fall persimmon season with big bags of fruit from her generous garden.


st francis at dolores


This year her tree dropped a perfect persimmon into the hood of St Francis, where it stayed to feed the garden creatures that surely appreciate the fruit as much as we do.


persimmon in statue hood


My  life-long friend Kristi left the party much too soon. But she leaves behind several beautiful gardens, that she created and curated over the years, each appropriate to the particular house to which they belonged. She also cultivated two beautiful daughters,  huge numbers of friends and innumerable memories of fun times. I will always think of her when I see a lavender-blue iris that moved with her from garden to garden and, like any good gardener, was shared with those she loved.


garden iris close


One more to remember…not a gardener per se, but  the best garden greeter and companion I have known;  Peyton the dog was surely the cutest gargoyle and guardian of the garden gate.

You will all live on in my memories and  in the gifts of beauty you gave to the world.


garden guardian


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Categories: Garden Inspiration


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3 Comments on “In Memoriam; Honoring Fleeting Beauty”

  1. December 31, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    Lovely sentiment and memories.

  2. Susan Souza
    December 31, 2016 at 1:47 pm #

    Beautiful! I especially loved the photos from Aunt Dolores’ garden.

  3. January 2, 2017 at 4:45 am #

    Thank you for sharing your broad insights and deep joys from your relationships with plants–absolutely beautiful to read and see! Best for 2017.

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