To-morrow will be dying."
My garden has certainly been a help in my putting the well-worn make-the-most-of-life-philosophy into practice. The two pictures of the roses, featured below,
are of a rose that grows on one of the three shrubs of roses which I have growing in my urban (NYC) terrace garden where I grow eighty-plus things.
These photographs were taken nine days apart. The first image was taken on December 8th 2011, and the second image was taken on December 17th 2011.
When I took the first image, I was painfully aware of the fact that I was beginning to be on borrowed time (in terms of the inevitability of winter temperatures settling — it is December after all) with some of the things which were still thriving in my terrace garden, including my Helichrysum bracteatum AKA Strawflowers as well as my Tropaelum majus (Nasturtium) and my Echinacea — a fact which I have included in a few of my recent postings, including ones which you may refer to by clicking here and here.
However, this past Saturday, December 17th 2011, when a sudden extreme drop in temperatures zapped New York City, the beautiful flowers that still had been thriving on my Tropaelum majus collapsed nearly to the point of being beyond recognition. And one of my sweet roses tried to hang on to as many of her petals as she could (which is seen in the second image at the top of today's entry).
The severe mood swing of Mother Nature was anticipated — because of the time of year — but, perhaps, because the weather change was so sudden, seeing its direct impact on some of the things that grow in my garden left me a bit in shock and wondering if Juan V and I had made the right decision to postpone this year's garden winterizing until December 27th 2011 (we did it on December 11th last year). With this year's warmer December temperatures, our decision to wait seemed prudent (as I mentioned in a few posts last week which you may refer to by clicking here as well as here and here).
And, even though we had the sudden drop in temperatures this past Saturday, "a warmer trend" (temperatures in the fifty degree range) is predicted for much of this week, which hopefully means that Juan V and I did make the right decision. Still, I find myself concerned about the well being of the things I grow, and wondering about their "durability" until December 27th, when they will be put into a warm bed and will be fully protected for the long winter season.
My roses, it seems, were a case of life imitating art in terms of Herrick's words,
I am aware that, even though we all know death and loss are a part of life, it is difficult to feel consoled when we experience it ourselves, and it is also difficult to find the words to comfort someone in their time of sorrow, no matter what the nature of their loss is.
My heart went out to my beloved friend VB, and my thoughts also turned to the time in late November of 1995 when my sisters and I had come from the various cities where we live in the States, to be at my father's bedside in the intensive care unit of a hospital in the northeast, where it was anticipated that he would not survive, and on the off chance that if he did, the quality of his life would be minimal.
It was the November of 1995 when my father fell ill, succumbing to severe emphysema, which resulted in him being hospitalized. While he was in the hospital, a failed surgical procedure caused him to go into septic shock. That is when a nurse at the hospital told us, "I am sure your father is not as wealthy as Christopher Reeve, and therefore, unlike Reeve, he will not be able to afford the oxygen that he will need if he pulls through this trauma." My father's wife wanted the respirator to be removed immediately, and he died soon after.