A perfect dahlia

I don't have a pot for my new dahlia. I need soil too. Chances are it’ll die if I don't plant it. My love of buying plants greatly outweighs my love of planting them. It wouldn't be my first impulse plant purchase to die in its temporary plastic residence. I currently have the dahlia, two blueberries, two milkweeds, a salvia, a pomegranate and a grapefruit tree waiting for their forever homes. I did have a fried egg poppy plant just a few days ago...but well, high temps, small pot, she didn't make it. I was of course feeling terrible about all my destitute plants and then 7:55 pm rolled around and the setting sun illuminated the dahlia petals just so and, by God, that dahlia is absolutely perfect. It's in moments like these when the noise of this chaotic and confusing world hushes and all that remains are sunkissed petals of golden perfection. It's fleeting and temporal, these perfect moments, just an inhale and exhale. I know full well that tomorrow it could be ravaged by the scorching sun or shat upon by the numerous birds in my yard. But in those golden moments, (deep breath), me and that dahlia are just right, a moment where we are everything we are supposed to be. Maybe that’s why I buy so many god-damn plants. I need desperately to remind myself of THIS kind of perfection. It’s not the perfection that my brain requests or the world demands. But a messy perfection that is being human and forever unfinished.. A right here, right now perfect, even in all of the unexercised potential and should haves and almosts and not quites. It's a forgiving kind of perfection; beautiful and complete as-is.

This is the sermon my garden preaches to me every day. I’ve come to think God actually lives in my garden boxes, among other places of course. The chive blossom, pink and pokey. The sparrow fledgling, frowny faced and endlessly cheeping. The aphid infestation, manifesting in folded leaves of rainbow chard. Even the grasshopper plague, slowly diminishing my garden, all preaching the same message. Here in my garden, with disease, death, weeds, unfinished planting and scores of awkward bloomers, reside an unequivocal wholeness.

So yes, I buy too many plants. And yes, I struggle to plant them. But hallelujah anyway.  Because even if that dahlia never gets out of its pot or heaven forbid, goes the way of the fried egg poppy, it still was the perfect dahlia.


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