The wind itself is unseen and uncontainable. It is only the effects of the presence of the wind that can be seen in the movement of the trees. In this same way a person’s zest for living can only be experienced by them and is not confined to a specific lobe of the brain. Were a person’s body to be dissected there is no place inside to point at and say, “That’s where happiness originates.” My own sense of happiness and zest has always somewhat mystified me by its constant presence, especially when I see others who seem unable to find any!
In a previous blog I mentioned that my love of plants and the sheer number of them earned my room in the monastery the nickname of “The Tropics!” During the 23 years that I was at New Skete Monastery I also started a daylily breeding program and employed genetic material from breeders all over the States. There is no feeling quite like watching the first blooms of a new plant that you bred some 3 years ago slowly opening, its altered genes resulting in a bloom which exists nowhere else but on that one plant! Once I became professionally involved in artwork which consumed more of my time I turned over all of the plants to one of the Nuns in a nearby monastery who continues the program to this day! Whenever she sends me photos of our children’s children, well it’s like WOW, this is SO exciting!
Aside from daylilies one of my favorite plants is bougainvillea. In my studio I had a cutting which I trained into a standard resulting in it looking like a tree in a 5-gallon bucket! The sight of its magenta blooms in the sunlight of the studio’s big window always inspired me to stay and work even on days when I was tempted to avoid it! And now my hopes are that I will eventually be moving to Honomu on the Big Island in Hawaii! Already I can hear Honomu calling me to come home to its greenness, its flowers and its fragrant scents! I want to grow another bougainvillea in a tub! I want to grow hibiscus and maybe cultivate some new varieties! I want to wallow in tuberose! Is it any surprise that I’m so excited?