… on being our own light

I am a huge fan of a perennial plant-slash-flower called Moonbeam Coreopsis.

Hang on a sec…

Oh my gosh! Apparently I am way more botan-istic than I thought I was because ‘coreopsis’ is this beauty’s latin name (I thought someone was just being fancy with the common name), but nope! It’s common name is actually ‘Tickseed’. I am assured by a quick Google-ing that this has nothing to do with it attracting ticks. So that’s also a good thing about coreopsis.


There are a whole bunch to types of coreopsis, and I have a few of them growing amongst The Inn’s gardens, including one called ‘Rum Punch’ and another little number called ‘Burgundy Bliss’ (I’m not sure which one is happier, because Rum Punch might be trying to find happiness at the bottom of a bottle, while Burgundy Bliss might be naturally giddy. So that is clearly not a fair comparison).

Usually by the end of June (this year everything was a few weeks due to a very cold and icy winter), a whole heap of thread-y, Moonbeam stems are swaying in the breeze with teeny tiny buds at their ends. It’s as if they are all just waiting for one particularly brave one to exhale first and, when it does, the entire plant erupts with pale yellow blooms. Each one is pretty small, but when planted in masses, the effect is pretty cool.

The other thing I like about Moonbeam is that it isn’t snotty even though it’s pretty popular – like, it’s the most popular of all the coreopsis-es. But it’s still really nice to everybody else in the garden. It was also voted by some Important Plant People of America, back in 1993, as the perennial of the year! But I’m telling you, that did not go to its pistils. It is still wicked friendly and has all the time in the world to hang out with its fans. Like, the entire summer!

Clearly I love a lot about this flower, but I think the thing I like most presents itself only on certain occasions in the gardens, when the light is just right… which is when there isn’t a whole lot of it.

Light, I mean.

There is something about the shade of yellow on Moonbeam’s flowers, and the way they sit atop a sea of gauzy-green, that makes them appear that they are lit from within when the sun isn’t strong enough to spotlight them from above.

I have yellow roses, daylilies, yarrow… lots o’ yellow stuff in the gardens. But it’s these little guys who seem to shine when the light dims.

They remind me that the most joyful folks I’ve met, and come to know, are the ones who generate their light from somewhere deep inside, rather than allow the external unpredictablilties of life’s currents carry them to the darker places… the parts of town where self-righteousness, cynicism, and misanthropy is readily available on each street corner and down every alley.

The ability to generate inner light helps with weathering storms, times in life where the sun doesn’t feel like it’s shining. It also allows us to access the light, and to share it (which, amazingly, contributes to more inner light… a befuddling, yet fantastic, thing (probably physics-based, but I don’t know).

I’m not talking about Pollyannas, or rose-colored glasses-wearing avoiders of all things tough or glum… but the ones who see the good, bad, and ugly without loosing sight of the wondrous, the magical, and the miraculous that also – and always – exist as essential and basic elements of the cosmos.

Not a bad reminder…

From a little flower named Moonbeam.

Thanks for readin’.

a moonbeam sea

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