Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Connection

a hopeful sprout!
photo by Rosa Phoenix

This little sprouting plant just emerged 
from the dark depths of the earth, 
and got its first rays of sunshine! 

Doesn't it look like a bird with wings outstretched, ready to fly?

Happy Earth Day!

This year, Earth Day has a special meaning for me. I'm enjoying new ways of connecting with the Earth. 

I've planted a small vegetable garden.

I spent many years in cities, living in apartments where I didn't have access to a backyard or garden. This is the first time I've planted anything in the ground.

The little sprout in the photo above is from a winter squash seed. I'm not sure what type of squash it is, I will just have to wait to find out.

I've considered myself a true city girl for a long time.

This year I felt a strong desire to re-connect with the Earth and plant a garden. I don't know why. Now I wake up early each morning and work in the garden. 

I really have no idea what I am doing.

I planted some things without understanding that I needed to first clear a patch of earth, dig up the soil, take out all the grass and enrich the soil. So, I did some things backwards.

I'm learning as I go along. It's an experiment, and I'm just watching to see what happens.

new life

I truly did not expect to see anything come from the seeds I planted.

Seeing the first sprouts emerge was very surprising!

I am awe-struck by the power of a seed.

How much potential is packed within! Roots and branches and leaves and flowers and fruits containing many more seeds. 
My reasons for planting the garden were to connect with the Earth, to learn how to grow my own food, and to have fresh, organic vegetables and herbs to eat. 

As I cultivate my garden, I am discovering so many small joys and satisfactions along the way.

Digging in the ground to clear my garden patch, I felt my body and muscles becoming stronger.

I felt gratitude for having the power to do this physical work. Visiting the garden center and choosing tools, soils, seeds and plants made me aware of the abundance and diversity that is available to us. I feel so fortunate to have so many choices.  

I choose to celebrate and cultivate life! 

I like to observe the creatures who visit my garden.  

There is a black and white cat (does she know about the catnip seeds I planted?) Bees constantly buzz around the lavender plant. The butterflies drink from the soil just after it has been watered. I saw the most beautiful beetle that looked like a flashing jewel. And a couple days ago, a hummingbird hovered in the mist from my garden hose to drink and take a quick shower.

 Early Girl tomatoes

I am beginning to feel more attuned to the cycles of the earth and the seasons.

By planting seeds, watering them and watching them grow, I'm developing patience, hope and faith.

By composting my kitchen and yard waste, I'm learning how the process of decay enriches new life.

When I'm in the garden I feel relaxed and at peace. 
I feel so blessed to be part of this continuing cycle of Life on Earth,
and to observe the magical transformations that are constantly taking place.

I began this blog two years ago, on Earth Day 2009. I'm happy to share this time on Earth with you! Blessings to you on this Earth Day!

How will you celebrate Earth Day?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Palo Verde in Bloom

palo verde tree in springtime
all photos by Rosa Phoenix

Spring has come to the Sonoran Desert. The palo verde is Arizona's state tree.

The palo verde is a native tree of our desert, with a delicate and feathery appearance. It is completely green, with green trunk and branches and tiny leaves.

In springtime, it covers itself with tiny, golden yellow blossoms.

I spent almost my entire childhood in Arizona. I've seen many palo verde trees. Yet I feel that I am seeing them in bloom for the very first time.

Why have I never noticed this before?

To see the street lined with many of these delicate desert trees, 
adorned with golden flowers, is a special vision.

I was sad to miss the cherry and plum blossoms of San Francisco this year. 

Imagine my delight to see the palo verde trees of a desert spring.

Sometimes, you have to go away for awhile, and return again, 

to see with new eyes, what you weren't able to see before.