Yesterday in Mexico I walked past I sort of man made jungle patch. I decided to snap a few pictures, which will be posted below. People spent time turning dirt, planting, and fertilizing all these things. This reminded me of when I did these things. These were the worst part of my garden. There are several reasons for this. First, I hate worms, and I had t0 see lots of worms. Second, it was hard work, and made me sweaty. Last, the fertilizer smelled horrible, and it made me smell horrible. Thinking about this reminded me that beauty CAN be created. One has to work hard to make something of beauty. Especially on thanksgiving, we should be grateful for those who work hard to make our earth more beautiful.
After a month of exploring the pure beauty only found in nature, I have come to a decision. I have a duty, as a person living on this earth, to create beauty and preserve beauty. This month has been a good start but I am not done yet. Henry David Thoreau says: “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives”. I will try to keep this quote in mind as I go about the future. It explains that I need to work to create beauty over and over for it to become a habit.
This week I am in Mexico so I will be blogging about gardens I see here. Today I went scuba diving and saw all kinds of underwater flora. This reminded me that nature is everywhere. It is so beautiful, but sometimes people fail to find it. I need to keep an eye out for the beauty in the world. I think people would be happier if they truly saw the amusingness all around them. The ocean is sometimes called the last frontier. It is given this nickname because people believed that is the last unexplored place in the entire world. I disagree completely. We fail to notice our surroundings a lot of the time. I know, that I have a lot of the world left to explore. I also know, that when I explore it, I will have a different experience from anyone else who explored it before. People say the ocean is some of the last untouched beauty out there, but nature is everywhere, and with nature come beauty. Ralph Waldo Emerson claims that: “The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough”. We can find beauty everywhere if we simply look for it. I am thousands of miles away from the garden that I have been blogging about, yet the nature near me provides me with the same sense of peace. There is a rule that we cannot touch the things that we encounter while scuba diving. The rule is put in place so that coral doesn’t cut us, but there is a certain quality about only using sight to experience the world under water that cannot be explained.
So tonight I went out to the garden and saw all the flowers. They are getting taller I think. This reminds me of how we are all growing. While some of the violas are staying purple, some are growing to be whiter. People don’t all grow to be the same. We aren’t all supposed to be the same. If everything were the same, the world would be a boring place. Henry David Thoreau says: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”. Everyone has a different perspective on life. There is a god that makes every person and every little flower different. He does this so the beauty of the world is as incredible as possible. It is our job to be thankful for this uniqueness given to us and to our flowers. Again, this time I left my phone in my room. Being alone while thinking about these flowers gives me more clarity and makes this writing easier. A quote about solitude by Henry David Thoreau is: “I never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude”. Solitude is the one place where your thoughts will not be judged at all. I did not think that I was a person that liked to be alone but I do seem to be able to think better when I don’t have my phone or people around me. It’s almost like I’m having a conversation with myself. I give my own answer, and it seems to be the one that will make me happiest.
This morning I went out to the garden and saw that my dog had turned over a couple of the pansies. I knew that they couldn’t have been that way for too long because I checked on them yesterday and they were in perfect shape. I replanted them and hopefully they will be good as new. This got me thinking about how delicate nature is. Leaves that have fallen and turned brown surround the flowers, seeming to make their colors even brighter. Everything in nature dies eventually. Everything that’s alive has to die eventually. I thought about what my garden will look like when all the flowers die. The beauty will be gone. Beauty comes from life, and we must try and preserve life to preserve beauty. Henry David Thoreau said: “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root”. In this quote, I believe that Thoreau is trying to say that there are forces trying to destroy nature, and the happiness that it brings. These forces are strong and may seem impossible to defeat, but we must fight for beauty. My dog may not seem like “a force of evil” that has set out to end my happiness, but this is a good representation of greater forces that have the same effect. Hate, anger, and other feelings of negativity are the greatest forces of evil in my life. It is my duty to keep these forces at bay if I want to preserve the happiness and beauty in my life.
Tonight I went out and looked at the garden and watered it because its been kind of dry the last couple days. I left my phone inside, which I was upset about at first because I couldn’t take pictures, but in the end I was a good thing. I couldn’t see anything at first. I wandered through my back yard aimlessly. My garden is a couple hundred feet back because my mom is very specific about landscaping. I sat out there for five minutes contemplating walking all the way back to get my phone. Then, I realized I could see the flowers. My pupils had adjusted, and I had the light I needed to see the flowers in their beauty. As I thought about this, I realized you need light to see beauty. For me, God is this light. Without god, none of this beauty that makes life worth living would be seen. Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The poet is the sayer, the namer, and represents beauty. He is a sovereign, and stands on the centre. For the world is not painted, or adorned, but is from the beginning beautiful; and God has not made some beautiful things, but Beauty is the creator of the universe”. This quote explains that beauty is the most important thing in the whole world. God is the center of this beauty, but even god is not as great as the beauty itself. God simply illuminates the beauty that is always there. This light allows us to see the beauty that gives us purpose.
For my transcendental idea I am creating a garden. A quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson is: “The earth laughs in flowers”. I believe that he is trying to convey that joy can be derived from the beauty of flowers. One of my hopes for this project is that I will find some happiness in it. I have never really thought about gardening before. No one in my family really gardens, and so I had to figure it out for myself for the most part. Before I actually started planting, I had to research what flowers would grow Georgia during fall, because its not the ideal growing season. This scared me a lot because I thought no flowers were going to work and I would have to plant something else. There ended up being several flowers that would probably grow. I headed to pikes to see if they had any of the flowers.
I really liked being in the green house section of pikes. It was so beautiful right when I walked in and I started to understand the perspective of Thoreu and other transcendental philosophers. I bought Violas and Pansies, along with a garden mum. They were having a sale on these flowers on Friday when I went, so it was really great timing.
a panorama of pikes greenhouse
another shot of the greenhouse, featuring the pansies
These are violas.
Next I bought some really overpriced fertilizer and headed home. I dug holes to put all the flowers in. I had less fun doing this than I did actually buying the flowers. I don’t like worms, and I saw quite a few. Then I placed the flowers in the holes and filled in the space with the very stinky fertilizer. In the end, I was pretty happy with how my garden turned out. I liked how simple it was. Even though this process didn’t take too much deep thought, the flowers are still beautiful. Like I said, gardening doesn’t require you full attention is that I had time to reflect on my day.
all done planting!
By biggest concern is that my dog is going to tear it up. But my mom has made gardens before and for the most part they are usually fine.