Savor some beauty for yourself; don’t put it all on display

They remind me constantly that there is still loveliness in the world, still resilience, still freshness, still time to grow. Silly little impatiens with their simple petal faces, and they bloom all season long. They don’t mind the shade. Some of them look directly into the window, nodding and smiling at me in the breeze.

The other day, I checked to see how well they show up from the road, and the answer is: Not at all. What do you know about that!

This does not detract from my enjoyment of them. If anything, it increases it, since it’s a tiny little reminder that “just because I like them” is a perfectly good reason to have them. I am not less important than strangers passing by. Beauty is important, and so am I.

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly

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7 thoughts on “Savor some beauty for yourself; don’t put it all on display”

  1. I’ve thought that they were called “impatients” my whole life! I too have learned the hard lesson of their bright, velvety faces withering like victims of spontaneous combustion in the California summer sun. While most of my own efforts have gone into 10 succulent bowls hanging under the eaves on both sides, I also made a “pot gathering” in one of the big palm tree planters. (Hahaha that sounds wrong) . They are real pots filled with geraniums, impatiens (ahem) Jade plants (my heroes) begonias, and white Petunias. The snails have been feasting but I don’t have the heart to poison them. Half of my heart is afraid that poison gets into the environment, and the other half melts because of those crazy retracting eyeballs. My son JP the plant/nature lover calls them “my greenbois”. The Palm trees are fierce competitors in their environment, and will suck every ounce of moisture and nutrients from the soil. I’ve learned to get creative with pots, planters and succulent ground cover. Frankly, the whole town has gotten creative like that. I love the ones with several varieties and that spill over the side of the pot with a cascade of green and silvery blue. Succulents are the rockstars of the plant world. They come in a trillion different shades and shapes, and you can just pinch a piece off of one, stick it in any container or dirt, and it will grow.

    This summer, I went even more crazy making our old pool yard look beautiful again. I planned ahead and jumped on buying a good gasoline power washer the Spring before we moved back. The old, Mexican tiles that my parents picked up in Tijuana over 50 years ago haven’t looked this bright and cheerful in decades. The pool plaster has acquired a natural turquoise tint from the pipes, and is old, but I don’t mind the patina.

    I don’t know where the summer went. We promised the kids to get the pool up and running, but it doesn’t look good now with work and school starting up again in a couple of weeks, and a journey back up to the SFbay for a new year. They don’t seem to mind that we didn’t get to it. It was a cooler, breezier year than most, barely hitting the 80s on a couple of occasions. We will probably get a heat wave in the fall instead. All of my begonias, impatiens and petunias will die a quick death when I’m gone, but the succulents will shrivel, survive, and bounce back when I water them every other month.

  2. So needed. Thanks for this Simcha. Marilyn was the group leader for my daughters Reconciliation and Holy Communion prep classes. Surprised and delighted to see her article appear on your lovely blog. Thank you

    1. How lucky you are! Marilyn is a lovely person. (The essay, though, is mine – I guess her name accidentally got attached when she edited it.)

  3. “What’s it matter? Nobody else will see it anyway.” I’ve been battling that little phrase of the devil’s for so long! It can sound like the voice of reason, the voice of humility, the antidote to perfectionism. But it’s not. It’s death. Thanks for this, Simcha!

    1. Agree.

      My mother, daughter trips to the fancy undies store were a bonding experience. Now that little girl is grown up and getting paid well to design the nice underthings in NY. You never know.

      We have a photo of her, *barely* two, in a lacy red bra that she’d stolen from my drawer of “pretties”.

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