Saturday, January 26, 2008

Costa Rica: Time For Flowers

by Donna L. Watkins

It's Friday and for me it's a long weekend since school is Monday through Thursday. However, learning is every day. I spend as much time studying after class as I do during. There is so much to learn and they go through the book so fast.

© 2008 Donna L. Watkins - Orchid at Homestay
I have been enjoying the garden here at the homestay. My solace in the midst of city life.

On the way to school each morning there is a gardenia bush. I noticed it over a week ago when it had a bloom. I was so excited to see it. I love gardenias and we can't grow them because the deer eat them in our garden. I stood over that bush for minutes inhaling the aroma. I felt as though I had found an old friend that I hadn't seen in a long time. I'm sure I looked a bit silly standing there with my eyes closed breathing in so heavily, but I kept thinking about the phrase, "Take time to smell the roses."

How appropriate to take time for the little things that you love. Life gets too full of the many tasks and voices that demand attention. Our own inner voice quieting speaking its own needs gets drowned out and rarely gets attention. Some days I have passed the bush without stopping because there are no flowers. I approach like one would when meeting somebody at a cafe ... wondering if a flower would be there. I don't know if some passerby is taking them or if the owner cuts them for the home, but I miss not seeing and smelling one every morning there are none to be found.

Although Costa Rica is full of orchids, this time of year is not the bloom time for most of them. That doesn't mean the city lacks floral color. It's amazing the amount of flowers that are familiar to me and some that grace our own gardens. One of the things I have to giggle about is that poinsettias are native here, however, they grow into a small tree. There is one in the courtyard of the home I am staying in.

I've also seen a lot of ficus trees which remind me of the fake plants that we buy to place in the home. They have variegated ones also. Many of the indoor house plants common in the United States are outdoor plants here. I also see some I've had in the past that bloom beautiful flowers and berries here, but have never bloomed in my home.

The love of plants is a universal language. Actually no language is needed in a garden. Soul and spirits rise as one with all who love the garden. Words are not necessary and certainly never adequate for descriptions of such beauty.

Ten more days and I'll be at La Selva Biological Station with rainforest and gardens and my soul and spirit will certainly need no words, although my brain will still need the practice of Spanish, so my studies will follow me. I'm sure I will learn more in the forest than in the city since my brain will expand greatly in that expanse of beauty.

View all Costa Rica photo albums.

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