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A Narrow Fellow In The Grass

Yellow rat snakeYellow Rat Snake

 

I always loved this poem by Emily Dickinson, and think it really evokes that shiver down the spine feeling you get when you glimpse a snake gliding by, even when  you love them like I do, and know it is a harmless species.  Still, they are animals of graceful mystery and they never fail to stop me in my tracks for a moment, with a slight quickening of my heartbeat.  Or as Miss Dickinson referred to it, “…tighter breathing and zero at the bone.”

Hope some of you enjoy this:

A narrow Fellow in the Grass
Occasionally rides--
You may have met Him--
did you not
His notice sudden is--

The Grass divides as with a Comb--
A spotted shaft is seen--
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on--

He likes a Boggy Acre
A Floor too cool for Corn--
Yet when a Boy, and Barefoot--
I more than once at Noon

Have passed, I thought, a Whip lash
Unbraiding in the Sun
When stooping to secure it
It wrinkled, and was gone--

Several of Nature's People
I know, and they know me--
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality--

But never met this Fellow
Attended, or alone
Without a tighter breathing
And Zero at the Bone--*

            Emily Dickinson

Quote #6 – Samuel Beckett

“Ever tried?  Ever failed? No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better.”

     –Samuel Beckett

Sunfire Coreopsis

SUNFIRE COREOPSIS

Author Sarah Ban Breathnach says “success arrives only after we have mastered failing better.”  Boy, nowhere is this more true than in the garden.  How many special, must-have plants have you dragged home from the nursery, only to find they were not happy in your garden?  How many seeds have you planted, only to have ants carry them off for their own anty munching?   If we were to let our failures in the garden stop us, we would all have yards filled with nothing but weeds and dirt.  Gardening teaches perseverance like nothing else I know.  Stick to it long enough, though, and you WILL find the perfect plants for your little corner of the world.  You’ll learn how to protect newly planted seeds from marauding ants.  And you will definitely begin to reap the rewards of your hard work.  Just don’t give up.  Plant and plant again.  Learn more about what succeeds in your zone, something you can’t always tell by what’s available at your local generic or “big box” garden centers.  Talk to other gardeners in your area, join an online garden group, join a local garden club, and read, read, read.  As your knowledge grows, so will your plants.  But always bear in mind that the best teacher of all is failure.  Just learn to fail better!  And did I mention  never give up?

Quote #4 – George MacDonald

“Work is not always required…there is such a thing as sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected.”

–George MacDonald

Well isn’t this just the truth?  It’s always work, work, work…rushing here, running there…never enough time to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labors.  But I think Mr. MacDonald has hit upon something.  Yes, a garden takes a lot of work to keep it productive and beautiful.  But surely there are times, especially in the dog days of summer, to sit back with a tall, frosty glass of iced tea, and revel in all we have accomplished?  Today, I plan to do just that.  After I finish trimming back some of the wildly out of control, rain induced overgrowth, of course.  But I’m only going to enjoy tidying up for a little while, and then I’m going to sit in the shade of our newest outdoor room, and gaze out over the late summer garden for an even longer while.  Butterflies and bumblebees are busy fluttering and flitting.  Lizards are scampering up and down every vertical surface.  Cardinals are at the feeder every ten minutes.  So much to enjoy!  Time for some “Sacred Idleness” in MY life today.  How about you?  Haven’t you earned it, too?