Saturday, July 01, 2006

The unbearable lightness of green


Houseplants are just houseplants until you look at them funny in the morning light and decide that they're not so plain after all.

As I awake today, I'm thankful that I live in a country where I can take pictures of leaves, wrap a whole bunch of uncensored words around them, share them with friends everywhere on a blog, then open up the floor so that everyone can toss in a thought or two.

Freedom of expression. Freedom of the press. Freedom in general. I cherish it. And as the place that makes it all possible celebrates its 139th birthday, I hope you'll join me in celebrating it, too.

Wherever you live, I hope you have a happy Canada Day.

Your turn: What does your country's birthday mean to you? And while you're jotting down your thoughts, what is it about the common houseplant that fascinates us so?

36 comments:

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Unfortunately, so few people take notice of St George's Day here in England.

Michele sent me here.

Ravvy said...

Australia Day is January 26th, a day after my mums birthday, and the day we celebrate the landing of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788... but then Adelaide wasnt found for a while after that... i love this day because

-public holiday - you beauty
-remembering the vast freedom we have and are willing to share with others... well i am anyway :)

i really love Australia and its freedom aswell... and ive always wanted to go to Canada to see the peaks and the valleys and to just see each town i pass through for its amazing beauty - tho i want to do this in SOOOO many places i might be still hiking when im 99...

so, Happy Canada Day :)

common house plant facination...
why they like us singing to them and stroking their leaves - has anyone actually asked them why they like this??? :P

Miss Cow is a Cow said...

No plant is common. They are all unique--they each have leaves which grow differently; the color is always a bit different. I think the thing that fascinates us most, is the ability to have something living in our homes, besides people or pets.

Happy Canada Day! I've never given my country's birthday. This year I will, however, as my best friend, brother, and boyfriend are all Marines serving in Iraq.

Beverly said...

And a happy day of freedom to you all in Canada. I was thinking this morning about Tuesday coming up and what I might post.

We are so blessed to have the freedom to be able to say and do aswe like...so far. I'm thankful for the forefathers who fought for that freedom and for all the service people who through the years have defended our right to have freedom.

I saw your comment at Melange...I've visited your blog a few times before.

Karen said...

Hi Carmi! Just bopping around Michele's and thought I'd stop in and say hello.

Here in the U.S., I think we totally take our freedom for granted, except when tragedy strikes, like 9/11. Sad.

I, for one, am NOT fascinated by common houseplants because I have NONE. That's right, I'm am a houseplant killer and therefore try to keep them away from me.

Have a great day!

Blond Girl said...

well, the thing that most fascinates me about houseplants is the fact that I can do so many things so well, but I am dead-on guaranteed to kill a houseplant. I have a black thumb; it's really sad. I used to beat myself up over it until I realized I'm a pretty good mom and isn't it more important that I am able to nurture my child than to nurture my violet?

Oh, and my country's birthday is a joy and a frustration. A joy for the freedoms we possess and a frustration over the decline of the values that lead the founding fathers to declare independance in the first place.

Have a lovely Canada Day, Carmi!

Pickalish said...

The thing that fascinates me is that they can actually survive in my house. Ha. I just posted a little about freedom, also. What does it mean to me? It means that I have a quality of life that millions will never know. I value that, and consider myself blessed because of it.

utenzi said...

Michele sent me to see you (and Canada), Carmi. Happy Birthday! (Canada that is, not you, Carmi)

Here in the USA we give away our hard won freedoms in the name of patriotism. Kinda weird when you think about it. And the 4th of July--just 3 days after Canada--we celebrate our country's birth. Usually with big blockbuster films and fireworks--but not at the same time.

Tara said...

Independence Day is about the freedom to have a BBQ with all the trimmings, see my family, watch fireworks, go to the beach maybe -- I can do whatever I want. How often we take that for granted, though. It's a shame.

As for the houseplants, I can't believe they're alive and I like watching them change from one day to the next.

Juliness said...

Happy Canada Day, Carmi! We're getting ready to celebrate July 4th in these parts. Hot dogs, baseball games and amazing displays of fireworks. I can't wait. Your photos are simply wonderful...nice angle on the wine cooler and very cool shot of the plant. As always, a visit here is a delight and Michele would agree.

Marisa said...

Good morning Carmi! Michele sent me today and I'm glad. It's been too long for me to pay a visit.

As we gear up for Independence Day here in the States, I think of how great it is to live in a world where your education can open doors. A step closer to equal opportunity.

Terri said...

Here from Michele's.
Happy Canada Day to you.
Our upcoming American birthday means to me...pride in our troops in Iraq, hope for the future generations and most important of all...the freedoms this country stands for.

kenju said...

My country's birthday (in 3 days) means about the same to me as Canada Day means to you, Carmi. I am thankful that I live in a country where we have those freedoms, and happy to be a neighbor to the lands up north of us. Happy Canada Day to you and all the others reading this.

House plants are so varied in type, have so many colors and so many different needs for care that they can all be fascinating in their differences. People are that way too, aren't they?

margalit said...

My son and I were just talking about this yesterday. I was saying that I am so happy to be an American, even though I hate the current government and think that we need some serious changes in how we govern, both locally and nationally. And I hate that the flag has been usurped by Conservatives so that as a liberal, it's uncomfortable to express my pride as an American by flying the flag on our nation's birthday. But I'll do it this year, as I have in the past, because I think that, regardless of it's faults, it is great to be an American.

We have a big town celebration with fireworks that we go to each year, eschewing the huge Esplanade extravaganza with the Boston Pops. Too many people there. We watch the fireworks from here.

As for houseplants, I like them solely for their green color. I think it adds peaceful calming color to the home, and I like that.

Mellie Helen said...

Happy Canada Day, Carmi! It's a blessing to live in a country where one can enjoy simple freedoms that are denied those in other lands. While our Independence Day has become overrun with movie releases and mall sales (like all the other holidays), it causes me pause to think and thank and appreciate all that those who have gone before me did to create a country of freedom for me to enjoy in my lifetime. Now about how far that freedom currently extends...well, that'd be a long blog post!

Mellie Helen said...

Oh, and the thing I'm most fascinated about my houseplants? I never need to water 'em (silk, you know).

David said...

July ONE - a month closer to my own liberation ( vacation) its warm here - but not too hot
we do BIG fireworks thing on tuesday, when my son will visit for a few hours, God willing. peace to you friend, and michele too

ChaCha said...

Happy Canada Day Carmi

Shane said...

cool capture

freedom to criticize, freedom to agree, freedom to disagree, freedom to care, love and assist my fellow man

panthergirl said...

Freedom is truly our greatest gift...let's not let the fear-mongerers take it away from us.

Happy Birthday, Canada. We may come up for a visit this year. :)

Here via michele, Carmi.

honestyrain said...

as a canadian i am grateful every day for where i live. i feel fortunate and am always aware that i live in a wonderful, tolerant country.

here via michele's today.

Ontario Emperor said...

On the US' birthday, I will be on a business trip to Boston, working, but there's no better place to be than Boston, I guess. The Canadians, unlike the Americans, were able to achieve self-government without bloodshed, which certainly provided some long-term benefits (it probably took a century for the US and England to kiss and thoroughly make up).

Regarding houseplants, the fascination comes from us suburbanites actually witnessing the miracle of life. Most people today don't grow up anywhere near a farm, so the growth of a houseplant is the closest that many of us get to nature.

Jennifer said...

I kill any plants that come into my home. Sad I know.

Happy Canada Day!! 139 years!!

Mike said...

Another great picture Carmi. I have plants as well as 2 cats and aquarium fish. It is nice to watch them grow and live.

Here from Michele

David said...

its like Neil young said:
rust never sleeps
i finally fixed all my links

colleen said...

Sort of like when a common word suddenly seems surreal. I like the the contrast of this photo with the one below. Happy Canada day from me and michele.

EternalCynic said...

The closest we come to celebrating a "birthday" of sorts for our country would be "Democracy Day". That falls on Falgun 07 (would be around February 19). It was going through a political turmoil for a while now and as of now things seem to be going back to "normalcy". The meaning of the word normal has been somewhat twisted for us for some time now. What we think we have right now is definitely different from what we had for almost a decade in the past. A feigned impression of peace and normalcy that meant some kind of feeling of safety in the capital city while a battle of sorts went on all over the country. We are now praying for an end to the violence that our country has endured for too long. And maybe that day we'd be celebrating a new "Nepal Day".

surcie said...

Hey, Carmi! I didn't even know it was Canada Day. I guess I was too busy celebrating my boy's 3rd birthday. While I'm still working on this glass of wine. . .Here's to Canada!

Tracie said...

Happy Canada Day!!
My mom's family is accually Canadian although most of them currently live in the US. A couple of years ago my mom changed her citizenship to US (she's been here since she was 3, so it is understandable, I guess) but I always thought that was kind of sad. I always love a chance to tell someone that I am really half Canadian.

Michele says Hi!

kenju said...

Hi, Carmi. Michele sent me back, but I also wanted to say thanks for the visit and the nice comments. You always say the best things!

Tracie said...

I am here via Michele, but it is also a good chance for me to tell you thank you for your kind comment, and thank you for writing about csa--everytime you do you give a child a voice.

jennypenny said...

Houseplants mean death unfortunately in my house. I do NOT have a green thumb and manage to kill everything live that enters my house. I can't even keep bamboo alive. My canada post is up over at my place.

Here sort of from Michele's. I mean you weren't above me but what would a weekend be without a visit to Carmi?

David said...

i like your dead fish picture.
America is great not becasue of its system, but despite it, not great because of its politicians, or its free speech advocates or the American civil liberties Union, buut because of the good people who work hard, raise their kids right and just keep on the path - all the Tv and movie stuff i woul apologize fopr, JUST turn it OFF.

Michelle Pessoa said...

What does my country's birthday mean to me? Not a blessed thing. I just like to go to a barbecue and get a day off from work.

Via Michele's.

srp said...

Here from michele.

Happy belated Canada Day.
Independence Day is Tuesday, but the festivities have already begun. 2007 is the 400th anniversary of the Jamestown colony. Big celebrations are planned for the entire year. The College of William and Mary is changing it's school schedule next year to allow for all the extra visitors at certain times of the year.

I think the current thinking of citizens and many in politics and the press is not the same ideas as the founding fathers. We tend to forget that there is no such thing as "absolute freedom" and we sometimes feel entitled to it. Our freedom ends when it hurts someone else, hurts society in general and infringes on the most precious freedom of all.... life.

I don't know where democracy will end up. I think we have good days and bad days.... I try to appreciate the good days.

Dara said...

My country's birthday, hmm. When I lived in Washington, DC it seemed to mean more. Was life simpler then, pre-9/11? Was it because of the huge fireworks display on the Mall? A different regime running the country, one I had hopes of? Good food for thought. Michele says hi.