Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Color: Violet (Purple)

The upper story window box in my cottage is perky with little violets. These violets have heartily withstood the winter (a winter so harsh that it killed off some of the “tough” decorative grasses I installed in the lower garden). Dark purple, with a very little yellow in the center. Quite Victorian. Whatever goes in this box must be hearty. It’s a window box and so the depth not too deep to protect sensitive roots. It drains nicely, but that also means it can dry out pretty fast. And it is under the eave so does not get a drink even though the rains may be coming down hard just beyond.

I have now plugged in a few petunias, now that the chance of frost is gone. These petunias will eventually take over the violets and tumble down over the side of the box, as was what was planted in the box when I first saw and fell in love with the cottage. These “winter violets” (related to “winter pansies”) have made it through so wonderfully that I think they may last through the summer too. If they are only to last through a few seasons then they will make that decision. I don’t have the heart to rip them out when they are doing so well.

I was thinking about seasons this morning. I know this line of thought was triggered by the consideration of my pansies as I saw them optimistically perched in the window box outside my bathroom. But this is sort of how it went: God is pretty amazing that he gave us seasons. Being God and all, he could have set the earth perfectly straight in alignment with the sun so that each part of the earth would have a specific climate and people could live in the climate they were best suited for and never have to deal with the highs and lows that come from seasonal extremes. Climates around the equator get less of the seasonal variation, though they do get seasons of drought and seasons of rain. God could have even tempered that out so that those folks would have enough rain to keep things plentiful year round instead of having those folks experience such difficulties in the dry season. And by the same token, spread the rain out so that the difficulties of travel during the rainy season would not exist. But in His plan, He gave us seasons. Which I think He might have been planting as a metaphor for how our lives go.

I have to admit that I get a little irritated when I am stressing out or whining about something and my therapist comments that it’s the “season” I’m in. At those times I don’t want seasons. I want predictability (though actually, now that I think about it, seasons are predictable. Spring follows winter. Winter always comes after summer. Fall is the nicest.). I don’t want the lows. But I certainly appreciate the highs a lot more, am able to label them highs, because of the comparative lows that have been survived. Kind of like the sweetness of make-up sex, if you know what I mean. So now you’ve been on the journey with my mind this morning. The thoughts of the wonder of God’s seasonal plan, all triggered by those perky, optimistic violets that caught my eye through the bathroom window this morning. And here is the piece on the color violet I wrote a few seasons ago via my box of crayons.

Color: Violet (Purple)

(which is how the crayon label includes “(Purple)”)
Violet is the widow, somehow finding delight in the evil around her. She laughs at people falling down stairs and missing busses. She finds it amusing that people pity her as she shuffles down the street, humming to herself. Though hunched over, almost apparently from the weight of her oversized hat, she fancies herself tall and erect and strong. The body conceals her inner strength.

Violet, now a widow, has chosen to stay in her youthful frame of mind. She lies to herself, pretending that the tough boys, hanging on the corner, are flirting with her, choosing to hear their jeers and snickers as swoons and swagger.

Violet, dressed in the black of widowhood, is not dressed in black at all. It only looks that way to the lazy eye. She is purple: rich and velvet. She knows it and that is all that matters. To her.

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