I have always loved Butchart Gardens passionately. Even as a child I was able to appreciate the heroic undertaking of turning an ugly stone quarry into one of the most beautiful romantic places on this planet. As an artist I’ve always loved the riotous color palette of the flowers and the artistic genius behind the place. But during my most recent visit I was surprised to have a new appreciation. It’s the first time I have visited Butchart Gardens since I have a garden of my own.
I have struggled valiantly to create an english cottage garden, and more recently a large rose garden, with the challenges of unwielding clay soil, northwest weather, and time constraints due to my hectic life. I now pore over seed catalogues and dream about greenhouses while I battle grasshoppers through nontoxic organic means. It made me see just how great an accomplishment Butchart Gardens really is. Growing all those amazing flowers in such healthy abundance. I could not stop taking pic after pic of flowers. Gorgeous flowers, all of which I wish I had in my own garden and could look at every day.
It also made me think of other things I’ve developed a new appreciation for, like being grateful for fully functioning arms and legs, after breaking my arm in 3 places last November.
I didn’t think I could appreciate my mom any more than the enormous amount I already do, until she helped me through the biggest emotional crisis I have ever faced a few years back. She had faced a similar crisis before mine so it was very hard for her to have to be reminded of her own pain while helping me with mine. She was so strong and supportive; it helped me recover much faster than I ever dreamed possible.
This summer I developed a new appreciation for my brother David after hanging with him during a weekend family reunion. He has always been one of my very very favorite people–top of the list– but I saw him with new eyes that weekend. He’s faced with many challenges, like the rest of us, but he’s someone who not only sees the glass as half-full, but filled with a delicious mimosa and a jaunty paper umbrella. He has THE most positive attitude towards life of anyone I have ever met, and that says a lot, as I’m blessed with many positive people in my life. He lives near Seattle; I live in Portland, so we see each other a couple of times a year and we keep in touch through phone calls, email, and yes, twitter. It really made me wish we lived in the same town so I could be around his inspirational viewpoint all the time. He is truly an amazing man.