Abiding Joy

It’s been a hot, dry summer at the Doublewide Ranch, but, as always, there are delights aplenty to be found.  The Queen Anne’s Lace has been abundant this year, and I’ve seen entire fields of it and chicory awash in a bright haze of blue and white. 

When I’m feeling a bit low, it’s sights like this that are a sort of barometer of Beth.  If I see one of these simple wonders and my heart doesn’t quicken with joy and pleasure, then it’s time to seek professional help.

My heart certainly quickened at the sight of this gladiolus.  Made me glad for glads.

We’ve especially enjoyed the honeybees this year.  Thankfully, there were lots of them.  After we saw how much the bees loved oregano, we joked about what our beekeeper neighbor’s honey might taste like.  Spicy and sweet might not be a bad combination. 🙂

Not as many butterflies, but we’ve treasured the ones we’ve had.  And we’ve treasured all those Crayola-colored zinnias that grew from fallen seeds. Not to mention the self-sowing cosmos, cleome, and petunias.  As a slightly lazy gardener, I love flowers that self-sow.

You can have your fancy, lavish store-bought bouquets—–I’ll take the humble, homegrown ones.  They utterly delight me.

And speaking of self-sowing flowers, I love my porch petunias.  I planted them the first year we came, and I’ve never had to do a thing since but water and fertilize.  Seems miraculous to me. 

This is a morning glory, believe it or not.  It split like this after a rain.  I thought I’d discovered a new flower!  And, by the way, morning glories self-sow, too. Endlessly.  Over and over and over again. 

We took a roadtrip for Blue Ridge Blue Collar Man’s birthday.  This is Benjamin climbing The Lump, in Ashe County, NC.  Definitely an ungainly name for such a lovely place. 

A spider web illuminated by the glow of the morning sun.  I’d never seen one shimmer like this—it looked like the work of fairies.

It’s hard to put into words just how much I am sustained by the natural world.  When I am brought down by that other world—the world of the fake, false, and phony—-I cling to the riches that surround me here.  They are real, they are true, and they bring me a sense of peace and contentment.  Not the fleeting happiness of the false world, but a deep, abiding, and everlasting joy. 

Indeed, I am rich beyond measure.

20 Responses to “Abiding Joy”

  1. Vicki Lane Says:

    Wonderful pictures! I feel the same way about the beauty all around us.

  2. Pat Says:

    I love every single picture.

  3. Bonnie Jacobs Says:

    Such beautiful photos! Thanks especially for the gladiolus (and your comment “glad for glads”).

  4. Martha Says:

    What absolutely gorgeous photos, Beth. Makes me sigh with contentment knowing there is this type of beauty surrounding us. And like you, my heart quickens with joy and pleasure at the simple wonders. If that ever stops, I’ll be seeking professional help right along with you. The fake, the false and they phony can never compare to nature and all its beauty.

  5. Ruth Tasgal Says:

    Lovely, lovely pics, as always. I agree that simple pleasures are all around us when we have the eyes to see. balance–what an ongoing challenge. Thanks, Beth. You are an inspiration to me. Ruth

  6. betsyfromtennessee Says:

    Hi Beth, Gorgeous photos.. You live in paradise up there. We’ve had a hot summer –and it’s been extremely dry in July and August.. We are desperate now for some good rain…Things are turning brown.

    Sounds like you all had a great time on your road trip… How beautiful !!!!

  7. Elora Says:

    What a lovely, lovely post, Beth. Anyone reading it will undoubtedly gain the same sense of wonder you convey so beautifully through your words and photos.


  8. Jayne Says:

    Love seeing the joy through your lens my friend. :c)

  9. The Southern Lady Says:

    Your photos are just breathtaking. So beautiful and I enjoyed them so much. I could just shut my eyes and imagine all the beauty that surrounds you there. You are so lucky to be able to see it everyday. Nature is truly wonderful and you are a great photographer.

  10. Jes Says:

    I love when you post photos from around the ranch–so much beauty! And the oregano laced honey sounds great to me, you’ll have to ask your neighbor for a taste when he harvests it.

  11. Debi Says:

    Thanks for reminding me of that.

    Some people consider morning glories weeds. I remember when I was a little girl and we had a sleepover at a family friend’s house. This was in Jersey City. When I went to bed that night, there were no flowers outside the window. But when I woke up in the morning and looked out, the fence was covered with them! Morning glories! Though I didn’t know that’s what they were called at the time. It was a magical miracle! I still get excited when I see them because it reminds me of that wonder and joy forty years ago.

  12. Ariel Says:

    I absolutely adore the spiderweb one. I love the contrast of the filmy, dew-dropped gossamer against the steely barbed wire. I pulled it off onto my desktop so that I can periodically open it during the day to bring me joy.

  13. Ariel Says:

    Also, I love your story, Debi!

  14. eemilla Says:

    Thanks; you made my heart smile.

  15. CountryDew Says:

    Lovely shots. You have a great eye.

  16. Stubblejumpin' Gal Says:

    You live where petunias self-sow? Wow!!
    I’m envious. Not that I’d leave my home province, but when I see your photos of flowers … it all sounds so much easier than what we have to do here (Saskatchewan). You guys have to fight aggressive morning glories? We have to buy them as bedding plants. That kind of thing.
    As everyone above has said: GORGEOUS photos.

  17. Sweetflutterbys3 Says:

    Wow, Beth! Who could create such beauty but God? And you capture it all so well. You should think about selling your photos. Seriously.

  18. colleen Says:

    Spectacular photos! I feel happier for having looked at them.

  19. Clair Z. Says:

    Beth, I hope you find time to pop by my blog, which mentions you and shows the Beth Chair.

  20. Clair Z. Says:

    Sorry, I should have included the link in that comment I just wrote: http://zeesgowest.blogspot.com/2011/12/new-dining-room.html

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