I have been having a rough week - my inflammatory arthritis is flaring. It's always a lottery to see which joints will be affected, and this week it has been my shoulders. Flare-ups usually last 24-36 hours, but this has been going on since Sunday. It hurts. It really, really hurts.
I've got about 10 years' experience with this, so I know what to do to minimize pain and the possibility of joint damage: heat and not using the affected joints at all. Heat has been no problem since I invested in the world's best moist-heat heating pad. But immobility - I have a real problem with that, especially since there's so much I want to be doing in the garden. And the longer any flare-up lasts, the more I start fearing that it won't ever end, and I won't be able to keep up with the garden, and we'll have to move back to the city and live in a condo and eat packaged food from Walmart.
I know my mind is my worst enemy sometimes. So today I decided to treat this episode as a reminder from the universe that sometimes we have to stop doing, and just appreciate what already is instead.
Here's what I found to appreciate.
The big perennial bed around the crab apple tree is a marvel of coexistence to me. There are snowdrops, chives, aconite, fawn lilies, tulips, rhubarb and hostas all living happily together. And each of them looks more marvelous in proximity to the others.
Nearby is a tiny, spindly star magnolia tree we planted last spring. It didn't do very well last year, and we have been thinking of moving it, but there, today, were the first blossoms beginning to open.
This Japanese maple hasn't had an ugly day in its entire life. Bare-branched, just leafing out, in full green leaf, or in autumn glory, this tree is gorgeous from beginning to end.
The forest beds are full of ferns. Is there any plant more Dr. Seuss looking than this?
Also in the forest beds, the first trillium are flowering...
...and the fawn lilies have reached the English-barrister-wig part of their life cycle.
By the pond the marsh marigolds and these double primula are flowering. William came for a visit, to see what I was doing.
Even the bumper crop of dandelions in the chicken yard looks beautiful.
Easiest to appreciate: the classic Aussie smile.