October, when the Earth turns to rusty reds, oranges, yellows, and golds. She gives us dahlias, amaranth, pumpkins, gorgeous decaying textures, and we praise the bounty of the harvest. Teetering on this precipice of falling into frost at any moment. I feel the mornings and evenings growing darker. Change is like that, it hurtles one into a strange looming darkness of the unknown. Until you can see the way forward again, and little buds announce renewal. It is like they say, change is inevitable, change is good, change is life. I seem to bounce instead of root, even into my mid-thirties. But maybe that's changing.
We moved a lot when I was young, and my folks continued on with a few more. As a baby Mom and I left a house way out in the sticks, and in with my Grandparents. Then at six a new person came into our lives, his name was Bob. He quickly proposed to my mother, his adoring admiration sweeping us off to the other side of the country. They had a joyous wedding, I wore a pink dress and mom had puffy hair. We all got perms and moved to Vancouver, it was 1989! The three of us had a few bumps in the journey, but mostly fun and happiness, exploring the west coast, canoeing, hiking, camping. I was the child of newlyweds. I will never forget my first concert, dancing to Phil Collins. We then tried life in Maple Ridge, a taste of the British Columbia sticks. Wow to be a kid out there, wandering the woods. I walked everywhere for miles, (or kilometers). The closest movie theater was a 45 minute drive away, luckily I made friends in the neighborhood. This was way before cellphones or Facebook, thank goodness. We hung out in the middle of the street as adolescents, burning candles, listening to Nirvana cassette tapes on our boomboxes, drinking stolen alcohol. Very rarely having to get up for a passing car.
At fourteen we packed everything and moved to New Jersey. Talk about change! My already present introverted qualities became more prevalent. I had friends in NJ, but it was a tough road, feeling so different at times. Suddenly this pressure to get into a good college was everywhere, but again I was on a different path. This was when I first found myself in New York City, at fifteen. The pulse, the excitement, the acceptance to be whatever you are, the crazier the better. The city is like a drug.
It has been a long time now since I first experienced New York, the city has evolved for better or worse maybe even more than I have. Change is ever present, my life is a series of transitions. The key is to embrace it. This past Spring as life appeared in the garden again, we had no choice but to see death and look it in the eye. We all have an expiration date, like the last rose blooming at the end of October. Doesn't make it any easier. Bob's great adventurer spirit lives on in us forever, having changed Mom and I and our lives so dramatically, I would be a different person if we had never had him. Loss has a way of putting everything into perspective, like time.
I have since left Brooklyn and moved home to Pittsburgh. Here we are full circle, just the two of us again, Mom and I. We talk about moving back to Canada, with the political climate what it is. But there is something about Pittsburgh. And I would like to try having roots here. Yesterday I added two forsythia to the garden, awesome bright spring blooms to look forward to, and lovely foliage. Trying to create terracing down the hills we have, the soil quite rocky and clay. Implementing Permaculture inspirations, dreaming of doing so much more. Our compost is going pretty good now, we just moved it and I am happily using the lovely dark rich pile left behind. Death becomes what nurtures life.
The bulbs we have are going in this week, I hope to find more, maybe on sale before it is too late this year. The vision is to design with what I can grow, but in order to do that you have to grow an abundance of materials. As much as I learn about the garden I also learn about design, forever fascinated by the seasons, and the skilled mechanics in floristry. Which brings me to my other big Pittsburgh news, I will be a part of the team growing flowers at SanaView Farms next year! It is a 52 acre historic farm, with a gorgeous restored barn. I am excited to be involved in the awesome renewal Janet has brought to this place. The year ahead is going to be all about learning. I have a long list of ideal flower and plant goals. As well as a pile of books including the Floret book, Cool Flowers, The Flower Farmer, and Bringing Nature Home for inspirations. A DVD from ASCFG Mom and I scored, (will have to join when we get going!) I have flower farming experience, and humbly know I am such an amateur. I will happily accept any tips and advice on resources, flower varieties, cut flower care, design tricks, etc..
I am unsure how I can wait in anticipation to design with flowers right from the farm. But these cold months are for planning. For those precious special moments shared between loved ones, held in the gorgeous historic barn, and ceremony sites, my favorite on the farm is in the pines it is so private and spectacular. If there is anything I know, that is what it is truly ALL about, and selfishly why I do what I do, to be a little part of the joy and unity that flowers and love parties bring people. There will be tough moments working with mother nature, but there is nowhere else I'd rather be. I hope and pray we can sell our sustainably grown flowers, to continue on this learning, creative life path, giving back to Mother Earth.
In numerology, 2017 is 1. So it makes sense that change has been the game this year, I think for most of us. New York will forever be a part of my existence. I had to listen and believe in the winds of change once again, this time to take all of my experiences and go where I could tangibly plant roots. And live my passion, even with the fear of failure. Everyday I miss the flower market, being able to hunt for cool finds in my color palette before other trendy NYC florists got 'em, and closing time. I miss walking everywhere, and most of all my friends, but as my good friend said, New York isn't going anywhere. However time doesn't wait, and neither can I.
With fall in the ever dissolving present, (I hear it will be a mild winter) I am settling in Pittsburgh, planning for a bright Spring. So many signs tell me it will be! Stay positive and listen to your guides, you never know what opportunities might arise.