A Garden of Gardenia

“In all things of nature there is something marvelous.” (Aristotle)

The windows blinds opened this morning to a marvelous sight: a gardenia bush in my garden was full of flowers. Sweet delight. Enough flowers to make any gardener dizzy and any house no longer in need of air freshener for weeks. Not that I use that fabricated chemically concocted stuff. I don’t. A Southern home loves a good sprig of gardenia to remind itself about who it is, where it comes from and what’s important.

Gardenia are not only fragrant, they evoke powerful feelings and memories. My memory this morning was of my Mom who recently called me with the news that the gardenia bush I had given her was finally blooming. She said she cried when she saw it in bloom. I asked, “Why?” She said that her special Aunt Gertie loved gardenia and when she saw them in bloom she heard her Aunt Gertie tell her how much she loved her. Memories mediating God. A blessing, indeed.

Connection with gardens, even small ones, even potted plants, can become windows to the inner life. The simple act of stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer.” (Patricia R. Barrett, The Sacred Garden)