Tag Archives: Power

Food: Digesting a Garden Smorgasbord


Visiting a northern botanical garden in February with two toddlers in tow hints at limitation — in time, attention, flora variety and color.   Thus, my expectations were set just slightly higher than pavement level when our snuggly packed chevy sedan pulled into the nearly empty parking lot of  Omaha’s 100 acre Lauritzen Gardens located in the heart of the city’s riverfront hills.

My sister and brother-in-law, who frequent the gardens, had pre-chosen two kid-friendly destinations:  the lushly tropical, invitingly warm Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory and the windy bluffs, home to two of world’s largest retired locomotives.

The contrast was striking.


Organic vs Machine.   Life vs Death.


But both evoked awe.

big boyBoth had a story.  An appeal.   A part to play in the modern psyche:  the pull of the exotic, Nature’s enchantment,  power’s thrill, the rise and results of fossil fuel-based  “progress.”

My mind’s been digesting this experience for  2 weeks, ruminating on a smorgasbord of questions about Life’s directing influence and cycles,  creativity and choice, the power of desire, and the inherent human capacity to stand in the present, eyes perceiving, heart open, hands ready, feet on the ground.


Which distilled down to this:  the urgent necessity of tending and feeding our togetherness.   Here.  On this small planet.  Now.
















Heart: When Zinnias Takeover the World


zinniasMy Dad dug a zinnia patch next to his robust vegetable garden a few years before he died.  He created this butterfly-magnetizing oasis for my Mother, his beloved wife. Shade had overtaken her lakeside zinnia circle, and, knowing how she appreciated the intrepidly cheerful flowers, he took action.  A small kindness.  Motivated by appreciation.  Caring. Love.

I remember this simple act, when brazen cruelty takes the global stage. Or reveals itself in a heartbreaking snippet exposing suffering intentionally inflicted in some oft forgotten far away place.  Or even close to home.

I remember in honor of the Human Heart.   And to hold myself steady.

When I began planting zinnias in my own garden — more and more each year, a young friend joked about zinnias taking over the world.

What do you think? A takeover of kindness.  Caring.  Love.   A powerful spreading of the Heart.   A counterweight to cruelty.  A companion plant to unshakable resolve and courage.  One seed.  One act.  One Motive-filled moment after another.  And another.