I have a shady garden and I've groused for years that I want one where I can grow peonies and roses and snapdragons. You can't do that in the shade. But there are wonderful plants that can only grow in the shade, like coral impatiens and ruby red begonias. I've learned these last years the power of shade and the lushness that can come from the darkest corners of a garden.
As we head into the week before 9-11, I think shade is a fitting image. What happened nine years ago cast such shadows; in many places that cloud is still there. My mind is drawn to the contradiction of the aloe plant. The juice has a bitter taste, but when applied to a bruise, it's healing and gentle. A rose, as we all know, smells and looks beautiful, but the thorns are the price we pay for growing it and cutting it. I smile thinking about my daughter's plight — her favorite flower is the crocus. So very much can go wrong as a crocus pushes up through the cold ground — the first flower to come out of winter. Loving a crocus is a lot of pressure, but Jean feels it's worth the devotion, because that tough, little flower is all about resilience. This week, may our eyes be open to see what can only grow in the shade, and may the power of that shine brighter than any darkness.