Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Breath of life

I used to think that the word "aloha" meant both "welcome" and "bon voyage." Only recently when my cousin Beng bequeathed me her copy of Hawai'i: A Floral Paradise did I learn "aloha" meant something deeper. Literally, it is "in the presence of the breath of life."

Gardens are full of aloha--now I can write that word and it won't sound awkward. When I find myself elsewhere, I like to explore the immediate outdoors, especially if there's a patch of green and the sun is shining. These vibrant beauties I found quivering under the  sun somewhere in two cities in the south.
The rosal I associate with my late grandmother. She must have had more than a bush of rosal flowers in her backyard. In the late 1960s, I remember her putting them in a small vase which she then positioned by the bedside table in the room where her first grand-daughter spent her wedding night. To me that gesture was a kind of benediction.
Unfortunately for me, I still cannot identify this common yellow flower that seems to thrive in upland and lowland climes. My daughter taught me how to use the macro button of the digicam that she also bequeathed me, but first, she said, you must also learn to move closer. Every day I learn a new thing. Belatedly, I learned that the flower's name is cosmos (thank you, cousin Allyn). No wonder I couldn't find it. I was googling for similar images under the heading of "sarsaparilla flowers"! Every day I do something funny, too.
It may be called morning glory even if I spotted it on an afternoon.

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