It rained all morning but now the wind is chasing what’s left of the cloud cover across a blue sky.

I’m sitting on cold concrete steps with my back against my front door.  The garden is all green and white .  Any lack of grass cover on the lawn is hidden by all the clover and dandelion.  Everything is in bloom at once: dogwood tree, roses, irises, and the peonies which spill over the iron railing on both sides of the small porch.

The peonies are covered with water droplets and smell sweet.  Even sweeter are the tiny strawberries growing wild along the edge of the flagstone walk.  I pop a couple into my mouth and they are warm on my tongue.  A small toad catches my attention.  It’s surprising I can see him at all since his colouring is a perfect match for the walk. Now the birds are competing for my attention, and one set of voices rise above the twitter of the others.

All season I have been ashamed of this garden.  The lack of grass and overabundance of weeds, the overgrown bushes and maple saplings trying to grow up in the hedge and undefined edges along the garden beds and the uneven flagstones and rusting iron railing and the dormers where the workman didn’t scrape them properly before repainting.

But from here I see that I am living in an urban paradise, an overgrown garden of earthly and sensual delights.  And that my judgments, made in passing, and my overdeveloped sense of responsibility, have been keeping me from the pleasure that reveals itself to me when I am fully present, with no other agenda than to appreciate.

Three morals in this story,

1. I live in paradise.

2. But still my eyes are drawn to the imperfections.

3. As if my role is to make everything perfect, instead of to enjoy.

Yours with creativity and imagination,

Darlene

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