In my garden:
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|Photo by Bruce Barone.
I am sitting near my garden. It is morning. Susan and I have just returned from our early morning walk. Nadine, our cat, is sitting with us. She is in the garden, first near the Jalapeno Pepper plant and later, the Eggplants. I am watching a Monarch Butterfly. It visited our yard soon after we sat down. It is breakfast. And the butterfly stayed through lunch. Flew away. And soon returned. She alights on zinnia after zinnia. I am amazed at her focused attention. There is no multitasking. There is this job at hand; to attain nectar.
A hummingbird comes into the garden and disappears.
I am thinking how I need to be more like this butterfly. And so I watch her. She is focused. I am inspired. I watch.
People who watch me photograph a bride
the streets of New York City
have often remarked on my one-pointed focus.
I learn from nature. I am learning right now watching the butterfly fly and land and sip. Fly and land and sip. Fly and land and sip. I am thinking of my childhood friend who passed away last week. We were best friends. His name was Andy. Never Andrew. Our parents were best friends. We spent holidays together and often vacationed together. He died in his garden. He called me a few weeks ago. “Hi Bruce. This is Andy.” He asked if I needed any more of the hot sauce his daughter manufactures and distributes. I never returned his call. I forgot. I should have made a note of it. I was absorbed with my upcoming car ride with my son; Boston to Austin. I should have made a list of things to do. One thing at a time. I need to call one of my sisters, Darlene, who moved a few weeks ago from New Hampshire to Dallas. I wonder how she is dealing with the heat. I need to write my friend’s daughter, Nicole, a letter of condolence. There are stories I wish to share with her. I need to finish my book of photographs of Times Square. I am, happy to say, I am. And then a gift for my son who is in Austin. And paint a cabinet in the kitchen. Poppy and Winding Vines. It is going to be bold, bright, and beautiful. And soon a new kitchen counter is being installed. A colorful counter. Our home, like the garden, is colorful. Alive. Soothing. It is of Nature; beautiful. Like the butterfly. I am sitting watching the butterfly. The butterfly, I imagine, must love our garden. We do. And Nadine does, too. The garden has given us bunches and bunches of lettuce, barrels of tomatoes, baskets of basil and jalapeno, cubanelle and habanero peppers; soon Brussels Sprouts and Eggplants. And flowers. Zinnias. And tall and bright Cosmos. The butterfly shows little interest in the Cosmos. The butterfly seems to prefer the yellow, red and orange zinnias. I am watching the butterfly in my garden. Sometimes, I like to simply call it, our garden, or the garden, or God’s garden. I am blessed. This I know. To sit near a garden and learn from the butterfly.