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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Forget learning about how to be a good human...

...that's an advanced study course, and you're still in pre-school.  Your job is to remember how to be a good animal before you can be a good human.  Yesterday, you learned how to pick a tree to climb, how to climb it, how to lay on its branch and take a nap.  Today you will learn to eat a fruit.
When a hungry animal tears into a succulent piece of fruit, he doesn't devour it instantly to satisfy his hunger.  He takes the time to appreciate the perfect union of hunger and bounty.   He licks the inside of the fruit so gently that only his saliva is mixing with the tasty sugars inside.  And on the next lick he has a little more sugar and a little more sugar.   He doesn't have to worry about the seeds or the thorns because he is just tasting it for now.  

Hunger was meant to be savored.  As a wise parent will teach a child, eat slowly and give your tummy time to know when it is full.  It takes about 20 minutes for your tummy to tell your brain that it is full.  The lesson should go further, even for those of us who have healthy weight.  Eating can be a spiritual experience.  Eating fruit with the Creator is like eating a meal with a gourmet chef who is sitting there explaining to you exactly how best to enjoy his creation.  You can taste the juicy inside as it was meant to be enjoyed, in the perfect way, at the perfect moment.  And, as you lick the inside of the fruit, your physical body will experience the perfect flavor, and even the perfect texture.

Today was the first day that I've experienced eating a piece of fruit in this way ever before in my life.  It was awesome!  I never would have guessed that prickly pear fruit could taste so perfect.  One lesson is this:  focus less on eating the fruit and more on enjoying it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

New blooms popping up everywhere!

I've oddly decided to renovate a section of the secret garden.  I'm not sure if the area I have chosen is historically part of the secret garden or adjacent to it, but this section was in particular need.  The exhaust from one of those 'artificial' water retention ponds was washing a trench into this spot.   I've only recently, and still tentatively, volunteered myself as a steward to this area.  
This area, along the bend of an often dry creek, has a new and deeper feeling for me.  It seems as if some significant historical event happened here.  I'd be so curious to know.

This garden has become the most beautiful place on earth to me as I've taken the time to notice each new flower.  And even more exciting are the beautiful insects, like a pair of red dragon flies I saw flying in formation as miniature red barons.  Unfortunately, my personal camera skills where not sufficient to capture the airshow.  Shown above are flowers similar in color to the dragon flies, minus some cool black pent stripping.  The flowers will sit still for a photo op, and so we can all appreciate their patience!

What garden would be complete without a snake?  I met the owner of this on the trail this afternoon. 

He was there on the trail, enjoying the sun and warming up after shedding his skin in the water.  That is until I came up and scared him into a natural silt screen.

Well now I'm a bit reluctant to sit in that cool stone chair that sits just under the brush piles that the snake likes to hang out in.  I'm glad I noticed him before he slithered past me while I'm sitting down there.

Remember there was a television sitcom where the plot was about a flower fanatic?  The neighbor was growing a flower that will only bloom in the middle of the night, do you remember?  Maybe it was Mr. Wilson?  One must stay up all night to see the flower.  So it is that this secret garden has a flower like that.  It's called frost weed and it blooms on the first "cold as shit" night of winter.  One must stay up all night to actually see it bloom because the ice usually pops out of the plant as the temperature drops far below freezing in the middle of a Texas winter's night.  This 'ice' flower is a beautiful ribbon of frost.  If you miss the moment of violent creation, you must at least get your lazy butt down to the garden before the winter sun (in Texas) melts the ribbons.

Here, what looks a bit like a weed, I've highlighted some of them with rocks.  Hopefully when it blooms this winter in a dazzling display of ice, I will have a nice picture with a neat rocky background.  For now, the honey bees are enjoying the frost-weeds summertime foliage. 

Meanwhile, I will continue to enjoy the flowers that are currently in full bloom also.

Next time you eat a perfectly ripened fruit, imagine that you are a hungry young monkey discovering the taste of sweet fruit for the first time.  This is how eagerly we should enjoy every moment of life.  Here in the garden, beauty-berry bushes grow wild.

While the fruit is not sweet, it is edible.  I've never eaten anything as bright of purple as this beauty-berry in all my life.   Best of all, the leaves make a natural mosquito repellent that actually works better than "DeepWoods Off".  Although, there is a strange side effect that the juice from the leaves also seems to attract flies.   At least the flies don't bite, and you have a second mosquito repelling mechanism at work for you ... your hands swatting at the flies also keeps the mosquitoes away.