Monday, October 06, 2008

The Best Laid Plans

Garfield Conservatory Front Garden

I like to read about gardening and all that has to do with our interactions within the natural world.
Many have said that our gardens have little to do with nature,that we are in control. It seems a harmless enough conceit.
Until a storm or drought reminds us that forces beyond our control still rage.
That weeds and insects and disease remain after all our onslaught.

We are learning. The garden can be a refuge for both the gardener and the wildlife drawn to cohabitation in our outdoor spaces.

Today on No Impact Man there is a statement about achieving happiness...
"Happiness research is showing that it is not material possessions but relationships, community, meaning, a sense of purpose, and use of one's most valued skills that make us happy."

This may be the key, the benefit, the attraction of gardening.

To A Mouse

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry Man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen-icker in a thrave 'S a sma' request:
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green! An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' wast,
An' weary Winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee-bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald.
To thole the Winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men,
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still, thou art blest, compar'd wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

by Robert Burns


Blogger Cheryl said...

Ah Robbie Burns......not one of my personal favourites but my mother has always loved his poetry......I must say that I enjoyed reading that again after such a long time....
I personally think that nature is healing....when I have problems or troubles I head for the great outdoors......

Lovely post....

7/10/08 7:49 AM  
Blogger jodi said...

Nature is indeed healing, if we would only take the time to follow her prescribed doses and learn from her.
It's so good to see your photos from around your neck of the woods, Gloria. I at least LANDED at O'Hare on my way home from Missouri, and I hope to get to visit there for real one of these days.

7/10/08 12:35 PM  
Blogger garden girl said...

Very nice post!

I visited the conservatory very early this spring, and didn't see much in the outdoor gardens. I meant to get back there over the summer but never made it. I see what I've been missing!

7/10/08 6:41 PM  
Blogger ChrisND said...

Yes...there are so many interactions. We can only learn how to work with nature to build our own little community...that then interacts with other communities, hopefully to the benefit of all.

Thanks for some inspiring words.

8/10/08 8:57 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Cheryl,I have always liked this particular poem.He seems even then aware of wrecking havoc on the wildlife and its consequence.

A walk or bit of garden work can do wonders, especially in winter after days of dreary weather.

Jodi, have you seen that Chicago Bloggers will host the next Spring Fling. Maybe you can make it then.

garden girl. There is an extensive outdoor garden all around the Garfield Conservatory that has had much work done the last couple of years. There is also a market street just past the conservatory. Have you been there?

I agree,living with our wildlife community
as allies rather than enemies should be the goal.

16/10/08 10:34 AM  

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