Tag Archives: iris

Flowery and Bright Week

When I walked up to the open doors of the church this evening of Bright Thursday, the flower scents streamed out and welcomed me to Paschal Vespers. Inside, the altar doors are wide open all this week, and after the service the decorated bread called Artos was placed before them. It stays in the church all through Bright Week, representing our risen Lord, the Bread of Life. This Sunday we will cut it up and eat it together.

Pots of lilies and bouquets are all over the place, and many icons are draped
with flowers carefully and lovingly arranged.

I want to back up and show you some scenes from Pascha, starting with the midnight service and our procession around the property, after which we arrived back inside the church to sing “Christ is risen!” by means of many words and melodies. We did this for a few hours, ate our joyous agape meal, and got to bed about 4:30 in the morning.

I was battling a cough that kept me from many services last week, but I managed to come back for Bright Monday Liturgy. This service always has a lighter and sweeter tone than Pascha, perhaps from the daylight that warms our bodies and reveals the beauty of the church. And of course, we are rested a bit, and not so wired as we were Saturday night.

Tuesday I drove a couple of hours to “Silicon Valley,” to attend the funeral of a dear uncle. I spent that night with an old friend, and we walked in the afternoon along the Guadalupe River Trail, a refreshing green space in the middle of urban and suburban sprawl.

Hummingbird Sage
Flannel Bush

Wednesday I was heartened to spend some time with my husband’s cousins and pray at the grave of a man of prayer. He had included me and my family in his prayers for decades.

Now I am back home, and taking care of my garden again.
Flowers are bright here, too, of course!

Christ is risen!
Indeed He is risen!

Winter and Spring

bearded iris

Last night just as I was ready to go upstairs to bed, I thought about how I hadn’t checked my fountain in the back garden for a couple of days, and the rain had fallen in very small quantities of late… so I went out in the dark with my flashlight and sure enough, I had let it go dry.  I could hear the pump whirring inside but there was no water for it to pump up to tube, so nothing was trickling down.

I grabbed the hose and filled the bowl, but still nothing happened, even after a few minutes. So I turned it off for the night and decided I would deal with it after the sun came up. When I went out this morning I had rolled up my sleeves to pull open the “door” to the inside of the fountain where the little pump does its thing. I had put several inches of water in last night and had to shove my arm through all of that and wiggle the pump out of its cramped space inside.

Usually some leaves and debris have clogged the intake, but nothing much was there this time. I rapped the pump against the side of the fountain, because the people who sold it to me told me to do that if it stops. In the few seconds that all that took, my hands were going from painfully cold to numb. The water was like snowmelt. I didn’t bother to put the pump back but I turned on the switch again and water immediately began falling from the upper bowl. I just left the pump sitting in the water outside its compartment and ran indoors to rescue my blue hands. That was my winter’s morning.

But the afternoon was Spring. I drove only fifteen miles inland to the dentist and it was a sunny 72°. When I came home more flowers were blooming – the hellebores are going to town, and a new bearded iris had opened.

For my town they are forecasting 75° for next week – yay! But by then, we will have Sprung Forward for the sake of our crazy time-tampering 😦  Should that be the definitive sign of Spring in our Northern Hemisphere? I don’t think so! It is more like a trial and tribulation of the season, but at least that has the potential to make us pray more, and that’s very appropriate to Lent. God can use anything! Glory to God!

hellebore

 

Holy Tuesday Flowers

Over a year ago I had to give up gardening at church. That branch of my life had to be pruned out so that other things had room to grow. But I miss the contact with the earth and growing things on the big property, and all the assortment of flora, some of them my own plantings and most of them friends in whom I’ve invested time and attention. So after Bridegroom Matins this morning I lingered and took some pictures while the light was still gentle.

 

native iris
cistus

The service and the flowers were certainly the highlight of my day. After that, I had planned to spend time working in my own garden, but instead, grueling computer confusion demanded all of the patience and peace I could find.

I never stepped outside again until evening when Mr. Glad and I took a slow walk. It was a great bloon to get into the air and away from electronics, and with someone I love who loves the outdoors, too, and I wished I had my camera along then — or better yet, a magic bottle in which to capture the smell of honeysuckle and other sweets.

 

It’s nice that this evening I can look at images of those morning flowers, which seem now to be getting ready to deck a bridal chamber.

Here they come!

Iceland poppy
bearded iris

Tomorrow may be a gardening day, of the sort on which one digs and pulls and gets dirt under the fingernails, says the lazy procrastinator. But today one Iceland poppy bloom is out, and irises, and the manzanita is a wall of pink-on-green. So it was a photographic sort of gardening day…

I only took close-ups, because broader views show too dramatically what lackadaisical workers have oversight here. God is favoring us anyway! Isn’t He just like that.

Dutch iris