Magic happens in Merlin’s Garden in spring around 6:30 in the evening. The sun is making its final dusting across the California earth casting unique figures of light and shadow that give the flowers and foliage another form of beauty. Within moments the light dims as the sun sets beyond the sea in the west. A red breasted hummingbird zips back and forth landing on occasion upon the crape myrtle as if it owns it. There is a soft wind caressing the landscape as the light catches hold of the shape of a butterfly floating on the air. I feel at peace.
I do not feel this kind of peace often, but as I watch the garden splendor from the wall to wall family room window, I feel uniquely fortunate to have found a passion that meets so much of my own need for creativity, insight, and wonder. I find the matter of gardening rarely boring. Just when I think I have had enough of pulling weeds and carrying another bag of soil to the top of the stairs, I get the infinite reward of a certain time of day, or year, and all that it brings in the way of offerings. Like the Cezanne Clematis that is hitting its stride or the Aquilegia Blue Butterflies standing with pride against bronze flax.
A landscape contractor described to me recently, “I get to paint with plants.” The statement is a perfect description of the gardener’s opportunity. If we give up on that opportunity, we miss the chance to find the gifts awaiting us in the earth. If we persevere and embrace the opportunity, we see dimensions of ourselves we never thought possible.
Yes, twilight. Not so much the end of a day, but the beginning of a life. A real one at that.