I had lunch with a friend today at a new eatery just opened in our local shopping area. It's heartening to see this swing towards shops and cafes springing up in the suburbs, making it possible to walk for a coffee in your own community.
When I dropped my friend off at her place, I admired her garden showing off the last of her roses and dahlias before winter's advance. One of the dahlia's flowering heads had come off (the one in the photo above). My friend said that sometimes the heads were too big for the stems.
I sympathised, because for the past few days my head too has felt too big for my neck - sounds weird, but that is what it feels like as I struggle with a strange head-ache (probably sinus-related. At the moment I am fobbing it off with a mild pain-killer).
Our garden is beginning to wind down. Spent leaves curl and flowers turn to seed-heads.
Death and sadness are inevitable in life. Nature, and in particular the garden, is a comfort at times like these. The person who died loved his garden and was a very successful and generous gardener. Being among plants and flowers helps with the grief and is a way to remember him.
When we were in Japan I remember seeing a patch of dead lotus flowers. It was the middle of winter when we were there, so the flowers were well and truly spent. The head of each flower was doubled-over, hanging down towards the water the tall stems were standing in. They looked totally defeated. Like brown, empty paper bags, without life, purpose or colour.
I tried to imagine how they must have looked in Spring, and how they will look again (even though I wouldn't be back there to see them) creamy, pink and full against vibrant green.
It struck me that here I was looking at them on the last day of the year.