Will the hydrangea heads keep their purple? It already represents a fading from the lovely blue of their summer selves. It is rich, this purpling of the hydrangeas, dusky and tinged with the toasty brown of autumn.
Yes, they will keep their purple, but only by being picked now and dried. They can't keep it and live. This purple phase is a moment on their journey, a progression from the tight piercing green bud clusters of April through their steady blue blooming, huge heads of flowers on substantial bushes forming the curve at the front of the walk.
Of course, there is always more in the garden than meets the eye. The truth is, there is no curve at the foot of the walk. Our front walk is an uninspired straight line of cement leading to the house. The hydrangeas have been our accomplices in fooling the eye about it. Let a few hydrangeas lean over its straight edge here, let a pot or two of something else lounge along its other side a few feet nearer the house. Let a poppy extend its odd furry foliage over the edge there, a Russian sage here, and soon a straight walk looks like a winding path. All it takes is a little uncorsetting of the plants. And the easy decision never to edge.
And the hydrangeas hold another truth close to their chests: they're not really blue. Not naturally. They're white. These hydrangeas are passing! They only turn blue because Q feeds them aluminum sulfate in the spring. You can turn them pink by feeding them lime.
Oh, they were beautiful this summer. One day I went outside to find a young man picking them. What are you doing?
Well,who are you?
I'm just a random guy picking flowers.
Next time, ask! I would have given you some.
He said he was sorry and walked off. A few minutes later, I looked up and saw him heading toward Main Street, arm in arm with a girl. She leaned her head happily on his shoulder, and she held a bouquet of my blue hydrangeas in one hand. I could not find it in my heart to be angry about this: it was too wonderful, in too many ways.
Q deals drugs to the hydrangeas, who lie about their color and fool the world into thinking that a straight cement walk is a winding path. The young man steals hydrangeas and gives them to his girlfriend, who may still think he bought her flowers. Truth complexifies in the garden, more than most people know.
Monday November 13 --eMinistries Network Teleclass with Barbara Crafton
Forgiveness: What It Is and What It Isn't
Are there unforgivable sins? What does it mean when we say God forgives us? Is there someone you cannot forgive? Or is there someone who cannot forgive you? Or do you have trouble forgiving yourself?
On November 13th, join Barbara Crafton in a one-hour teleclass from eMinistries Network for a time of exploration and discussion of this key element of our faith. Limit 12 people; register now. 8:00 pm Eastern (one-hour teleclass) -- 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, 5:00 Pacific -- Please be sure to reflect the above time zone differences when you put this on your calendar!
Registration required (use code CMC-SP105)
Fee is $14.00/pp
On the Farm:
In the HodgePodge, some good news about breast cancer screening. In More or Less Church, a glance in the mirror. In Ways of the World, a look at Fords --Henry Ford, and Ford Motors. This is a good time to check out Pennies From Heaven for your kids -- consider having them Trick or Treat for pennies at Halloween in support of Episcopal Relief and Development's work with children around the world, and make a penny can together with downloadable Pennies From Heaven labels art by Dianne Robbins.