Sunflowers For Ukraine


This isn’t the post I wanted to share today, the one I was hoping would end my writing slump — but the situation in Ukraine is occupying all of my thoughts and a frivolous post is impossible now.

Like many of you, I am deeply saddened and angered by the Russian invasion, an action that has destabilized a world that still hasn’t shaken off COVID. Quite frankly, hasn’t the world had enough? Haven’t we all had enough?

On Facebook, I’m in a group called “View From My Window.” In the past two weeks, so many people from Kyiv and other areas of Ukraine have shared their city and country window views. What they’ve shared is beautiful. What they’ve shared are their lives.

Equally touching are the comments from around the world, all expressing concern and hope and prayers.  The photos, though, have made the war more personal because these are real people with real lives. Now, I am consumed with thoughts of strangers who shared their photos — ordinary people who are, in so many ways, just like me, just like you, just like us.

In my opinion, the vast majority of people in the world want nothing more than to wake up peacefully, go to work, bring their children to playgrounds, walk their dogs, plant something on their terraces or in their gardens, enjoy a delicious meal, laugh with family and friends, watch some television, and go to sleep with thoughts that tomorrow they will be able to do the same.

They do not want war. No one wants war.

Yet, here we are. Again. It seems the decision to go to war is always made behind closed doors by people — usually men — who have nothing to lose. Those with everything to lose are the innocents in harm’s way.

It’s as journalist Walter Cronkite once said, “War itself is, of course, a form of madness. It’s hardly a civilized pursuit. It’s amazing how we spend so much time inventing devices to kill each other and so little time working on how to achieve peace.”

I’m not sure how to end this post, other than to say I recently learned the sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine — and so I have filled this post with some of my sunflower photos. Some were spotted in a field, and others I’ve grown over the years.

I’ve read the sunflower was given this distinction in Ukraine because it represents power, strength, and warmth — three traits that can just as easily describe a people. Each sunflower here is a small token of support for the gardeners and all people of Ukraine.

Please, stay safe. The whole world is with you.

Bloomin’ Update 48: The Falling Leaves . . .


Autumn Leaves

In the last post, I left the garden for a music-themed writing prompt from WordPress.  This week, it’s back outside — or rather, it’s back to the photos that I originally had taken if I hadn’t come across that writing prompt.  And it’s a good thing I snapped these photos when I did — because a week of wind later, where once there were leaf-laden trees, there now stands bare branches.

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Repost: One Week In Two Zones


It was a gut-wrenching, heart-aching goodbye.  As we drove north on I-95, we watched spring disappear, its greens and blooms falling away with each passing mile.  And now, on a very cold spring day on Long Island, I am once again looking at a world of brown with only a few patches of green growth — a far cry from South Florida’s lush jungle.  So as I re-acclimate to my climate, I am thinking of a post from last year when I gardened in two zones in one week.  

Please, forgive me for this repost, but I am a sad gardener.  Just days ago, I tasted renewal — and this morning, I scraped ice from my windshield.  It hurts.  It really hurts.

Banana Leaf

One day, you’re on vacation in South Florida, gazing at the pattern of a banana leaf sunlit from behind (above) — and the next, you’re bundled up against the wind chill of Long Island.  After arriving home, I went through some random Florida photos and then walked around the yard on Long Island to make a comparison.  Can you guess which photos came from which zone?

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