Ronald Steed

giving and taking

giving and taking
tender hearts and blossoms -
late-summer border
A haiku moment at Harkness State Park in Waterford, CT, Saturday late morning, August 21, 2021:

This late-summer border of annuals who stretch out skyward on long stems, seems to invite the pollinators to work their blossoms. They beg for connection, seducing the eye with brilliant warm-colored hues in bright sunshine that contrasts with the cool dark-green shade of the foliage behind them. Even for non-pollenating humans, it is hard not to be touched by them.

This bed of tender plants will not survive the first frost in a couple of months. Sunflowers, zinnias, and nasturtiums are among them. In more temperate places, they might grow to old age, but Connecticut weather will cut short their vocation. Still, all of these will produce seeds soon; a new generation, held for a season or so in compact, energy-dense forms.

Their seduction is effective too! While we worked with our own surrender to the blossoms' invitation, butterflies, moths, insects, and bees dodge about. A hummingbird ducks in and out among them, carefully regarding from a distance, her next encounter with the petals. Escaping the deep shade at the base of this bed, chipmunks and mice jump and scurry anxiously across adjacent paths on their daily rounds. These too, seem like tender hearts.

The border is alive with motion, which is hard, but not impossible to capture in painting or prose. Stout stems sway slowly in the gentle breeze of the day, while the shorter branches and petals move with higher vibrations. This movement too, may be part of their seductive dance, and what better form of painting than impressionism to capture the aliveness of things that thrive in the sunshine and transitive verbs to covey their movement? The mind's eye must fill in the imaginary flourishes, and heart must beat with the border.

There is a vulnerability in these flowers, and an acceptance of connection by its community of pollinators. It is as though these tender ones offer a place of welcome and respite . . . open hearts asking to be seen and touched. It's tempting to think there is a transactional aspect to nature, and there is; "I'll trade you this for that". And . . . there is a peaceful mutuality. A giving and taking of what each has to offer and desires to receive.

Painting by Roxanne Steed
Haiku and meditation by Ronald Steed
Copyright 2021 ©

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