Thursday, January 20, 2011


On a sober-gray and inhospitable Fall day in Indiana almost a decade ago, I met a plant I’d never seen before. Upon hearing its name, I found out I’d never even heard of it… the Oak Leaf Hydrangea.

I was intrigued by the enormous blossoms and the foliage shaped like the red and white oak leaves in my hometown in Michigan. Rustic, wild, more like shrubbery than flowers, I loved it immediately. And I decided right then and there, standing on a stranger’s porch, that I would one day live in a house with an Oak Leaf Hydrangea.


Last Fall, my husband and I were house-shopping. We found a house that was perfect for us; it was, in fact, everything we were looking for, and we bought it. While moving in, I took a stroll around the property. There, clustered together on the side of the house, stood not one but four large and regal Oak Leaf Hydrangea bushes covered in blooms. Like curious neighbors, they clustered in their botanical excess outside my new office window, vying for a peek at the pale bipeds moving into this house they adorned.

A plant-knowledgeable friend estimated from their size that they were about 10 years old. So while I was standing in Indiana determined to one day live in a house with an Oak Leaf Hydrangea, someone in Michigan was planting several outside a house I would one day call home. That’s synchronicity at its best. And it tells me I’m right where I need to be.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday's Cancelled

She’s wearing her prettiest clothes this morning, the kind of white excess only Nature can pull off.

What is it about snowstorms that excites me so? Is it because they so effectively interrupt my routine? Is it because they unexpectedly release me from my commitments and expectations? Maybe it’s because they temporarily excuse me from my schedule. This isn’t something I have to explain to anyone; there seems to be universal understanding and sharing of this justification.

As the snow lays down an extra layer of silence, soundproofing my world, I walk happily around my house, freed by Nature from demands that await me in more moderate weather. My heart is joyful in a forced respite in a small town on the shore of Lake Michigan in January… the gift of snowflakes.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


"If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come."
~Chinese Proverb