Beauty & Nature by Jeffrey Woods
As Jeffrey Woods closes in on me during this season of springtime growth, so do some very colorful childhood memories.
It’s funny how certain sights, sounds and smells awaken memories of the very things that created the memories in the first place.
For me, springtime always brings me back to my grandmother’s Victorian-style garden. Within that lush mysterious world of towering ferns, flowering vines, beautiful blooms, moss-covered cobblestones and overwhelming fragrances, I learned to love nature and the many enchanted worlds within it.
As a child, I often visited this garden of hidden places and high adventure, but always under the strictest orders to "Never" step off the path. And that, of course, created a huge dilemma.
The mere mention of “forbidden” found me inventing ways to get off the manicured walkway in search of other points of interest.
Confined to a wheelchair, grandma had a somewhat limited view from the big bay window where she perched herself to watch for garden interlopers. I knew just when to disappear and how much time to spend off path before she busted me for my foolhardy shenanigans.
But it was those little, off-trail adventures that introduced me to some of nature's most amazing hidden worlds as seen within a single raindrop; a swath of green, cool moss; a tightly curled fern; a dragonfly's wing and the ever-changing dandelion.
With her hair tightly braided and wrapped around her head in multiple circles, grandma was the picture of no nonsense. She was always able to scare the love-of-life and fear-of-death out of me with just a tilt of her head. (And, that cumbersome, old wheelchair of hers didn’t help the overall presentation.)
Oddly enough, though, I must have been motivated more by curiosity than fear, because I kept exploring those secret "keep-out-and-off" areas.
So that’s the way it was during the springs of my early childhood. Time was spent exploring the unknown, following slug slime, grabbing earth worms, uncovering creepy-crawlies, stroking velvety moss, watching birds feed their young, getting deeply lost in so many flowers faces and trying to stay out of grandma's field of vision.
~ Albert Einstein