694 miles from my home in Pittsburgh, fully engrossed, in this gem of an urban habitat, the Briar Patch in Eatonton, Georgia. Brownfield land, once an aluminum plant and company housing. Now human dynamo Virginia Linch has marshaled a band of merry volunteers to do a Presto Chango! and with blood, sweat and likely a few happy tears, it is a community asset, attracting adults and kids, to come and marvel over the winged beauties that come for nectar, pollen and good leaf chew. Thanking G-d frequently, for the opportunity, these photo evokes that message I love so deeply, penned by Ralph Waldo Emerson. In part:
To appreciate beauty; To give of one’s self . . .
To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition . . .
To laugh and play with enthusiasm and to sing with exultation and to know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived –
That is to succeed . . . .
Do you see what I see?
I have read this often, and attempt to emulate it in my own life, whether gardening to attract winged beauties, or with family and friends, in my spiritual life, and in the field, as I attempt to capture ever more beautiful images of butterflies, darners, wildflowers, whatever . . . .
To laugh often and to love much . . .
To win the respect of intelligent persons
and the affections of children . . . To earn
the approbation of honest critics and to
endure the betrayal of false friends , , ,
To appreciate beauty; to give of one’s self . . .
To leave the world a bit better whether by
a healthy child, a garden patch, or
a redeemed social condition . . .
To laugh and play with enthusiasm and to sing with
exultation and to know that one life
has breathed easier because you have lived –
. . . That is to succeed . . .
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
This perennial garden that I loved brought butterflies from great distances, nurtured scores of butterflies, bees, moths and ruby-throateds, the latter coming every hour on the hour. It brought joy to family, though concealed from the world, as it grew behind the house, and remained unknown to most.