Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Flowers that Dance

I love flowers that scent the air with intoxicating fragrances, flowers that rest in neat colorful mounds, flowers that coat the ground like a fluffy puddle. 

Late summer dance: Gomphrena 'Fireworks' and Nicotiana 'Whisper Appleblossom'
But most of all I love flowers that dance. Whisper Appleblossom nicotiana, woodland tobacco, Fireworks gomphrena. They hover over the others in a lilting cloud, like syrphid flies over sweet Alyssum, like fluttering cabbage moths over wet muck. Like lightning bugs. 

They drift aloft in a Debussian rhythm, unregimented, suspended. You forget for the moment the details of genus and species, morphology and function. You lose yourself in the whole of the dance. Everyone is keeping the beat. The eye is not directed to any one spot. It doesn't matter.

Until the scene is broken by a single frosty night, or ferocious late season storm, they dance. And then the music stops. Frosty air chills the fallen seeds. Its fingers reach into the pores of the soil. Rhythm and tender green are on hold.

And so we dance, furiously, to strings and keys and pounding palms, to keep our spirits alive.
image from Country Dance and Song Society (

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