I Miss My Blog: A Haiku

I miss my dear blog
A yearning, hard to describe
Another sun sets.

Gardening Nirvana feels like a cozy little place on the internet. It’s not quite a room, or for that matter, a garden.

In internet lingo, it’s simply a URL. That said, it’s uniquely mine. I share through words and pictures. Kind strangers stop by from around the globe. Kindred spirits become friends. It’s magical.

Even in my absence, I feel the pull. It’s the strangest thing for a place that didn’t exist several years ago. Gardening Nirvana is my blogging home.

Since you’ve stopped in for a visit, I’ll briefly share what’s new.

In early October I turned 60. The lead up to what my friend Laura calls a “zero birthday” was strange. Sixty! Good grief that sounds old, yet here I am. It all amounted to a hill of beans. I have absolutely nothing unique to say about crossing into another decade. (I have plenty to say about the abysmal state of this country, but I’ll spare you that drama).

Our beautiful state caught fire once again. Autumn used to be a favorite time of year when temperatures finally cooled and the possibility of rain stirred the air. Instead, temperatures remain hot and dry, as fierce winds and low humidity whip into a frenzy. We just passed the one-year mark of the Camp Fire, the worst in our state’s history. It claimed 85 lives and destroyed a community.

This year, everyone has been on edge.

I get first-hand updates from my friend Laura who moved to Paradise six months before it burned. The Camp Fire destroyed her fence and several trees and left heat and soot damage throughout her home. Miraculously, the fire stopped there. Her home is one of the five percent to have been spared. Her friend, Christine wasn’t as lucky. She fled her home with four children and two dogs packed into the car, with forty-foot flames on both sides of the road. I’ll never forget the video she shared as they fled.

This season’s fires started later. We felt a collective relief. Then the predicted “wind events” came to pass, and just before I headed to bed, there was news of the Kincaide Fire. Several more followed, and once again it seemed our beautiful state burned.

We live in a bubble here in San Jose. We’re in a valley, so we avoid the heavy winds that swoop across the hills. We have friends up and down the state that lost power for days, endured forced evacuations and the worry of what they might return to. I should, of course, feel lucky, but instead, I feel dread. We desperately need rain.

On a brighter note, we flew to Mississauga, Ontario mid-month to attend a traditional Indian Wedding. The events were full of joy and laughter, beautiful color, dance, and wonderful food. Both families embraced us, helping us navigate the unknown and making us feel welcome. A local shop helped us select the proper attire for each event. We’re so honored to have been a part of the celebrations.

Haldi and Mendhi


Bride Baraat, Groom Baraat, and Pheras

An injured foot kept me off the dance floor. It’s also reduced my time in the garden.


A torn tendon kept me from dancing

A torn tendon kept me from dancing

Recent events remind me, however, that I’m lucky to be alive, and lucky to see another day. For this I’m grateful. If you’ve read this far, I’m grateful for you, too.

22 thoughts on “I Miss My Blog: A Haiku

  1. Thank you for this addition to your blog! We both crossed over into 60 territory this October! The Indian wedding looks like a wonderful time and what a unique opportunity to experience the culture. I’ve always wanted to get dressed in the beautiful Indian garments. Also thank you for coming to our special event this October, Ellie’s Bat Mitzvah.
    I pray that your friend in Paradise stays safe this fall season

    Liked by 2 people

    • Judee, it was wonderful being a part of Ellie’s ceremony and celebration. She’s strong and bright and creative with an indomitable spirit. I know you’re incredibly proud of her. Yes, here we are at 60. Weird, eh? Laura’s life has been a nightmare for a long time. I’m impressed with her courage and strength.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have ripened beautifully Alys! Did you feel like a princess in those beautiful saris? I always feel so culturally deprived when I see the beautiful eastern clothing – the fabric and textiles and embroidery and the colours – oh the colours….. Australia too is burning. But we are still rather wet and not feeling particularly summery as yet – maybe it will be a non-event like last year. But just being safe from the elements it seems is something to be grateful for these days – you never know when it might be your turn. I don’t know when I last blogged, I don’t know when I will or even if I will again. I took some time out altogether, but felt the pull to come back and catch up again recently. So I’m glad to be reading when you decide to be posting. And I’m glad to see you are having some fun outings too – and such a lovely time celebrating a happy event.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love the term “ripened” Pauline. Thank you. I did feel like a princess in those beautiful clothes. I’ve hung the blue beaded skirt and top on my dressmaking form so that I can continue to enjoy it every day. It’s gorgeous and beautifully made. I agree with you about the color and texture and vibrancy of the customs, cultures, and costumes. They make western weddings look like a complete yawn.

      I hope the wet you mentioned in your comment has finally turned to warmth. We’re finally getting our rain, with back to back storms and high winds for a week. M is on the road back to college this morning, only to return 12 days later. It’s generally five hours each way, but one of the highways has been closed due to snow. I’ll feel relief when he’s home.

      Blogging breaks can be good for us, but I’m glad you’re back. I checked and you last posted in September. I’m happily anticipating your next post.


  3. Welcome back again Alys.
    I loved your ‘growing up’ photos – you’ve not lost that sparkle in your eyes through the years even if the lovely red hair has toned down. Was your hair still as red in the photo ‘age 21’ as it was ‘age 12′? If so you must have looked like one of the pre-Raphaelite painters’ models.
    Considering you appear to be putting your head on a chopping block when you were almost 50, it seems you were lucky to reach another ‘zero birthday’.
    A friend of mine recently attended an Indian wedding (although she had to go to India for it) and said it was amazing. I don’t remember her showing me any photos but yours are wonderful and you and Mike look stunning in your clothing. I especially like the beautiful green dress you’re wearing – you’ve still got it girl – although your footwear leaves something to be desired. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you! It’s good to be back.

      My hair was bright into my mid-twenties as I recall before it darkened. I’m greying in a blondish color, but so far it’s on the underside of my hair layers and not that noticeable. It’s definitely dulled though.

      I’m laughing about your “chopping block” comment. I’m actually in our garage which we offer as a polling place, voting for Obama. Ah, the good old days. Sigh. I don’t have many pics from that year as it was a dreadful one for our family. It’s interesting looking back.

      Those dresses were something else. I look forward to wearing them again. Thanks for all your kind words, Lynn.


  4. I’m always happy to see one of your posts arrive in my Reader, dear Alys, and many happy returns for that landmark birthday. Mine is only 1 year and 2 months away, and I hope to reach it as elegantly and graciously as you have!
    Our own fire season has started early, hard and fast and deadly; so far, we have multiple deaths, injuries and the destruction of entire communities. And it’s still early in the season…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kate, thank you so much for your kind words. So your chase to 60 is on, eh? You’re wearing your age beautifully and you’ve survived much with strength and grace. Good for you.

      I’ve been following the Australian fires in the news, and through other bloggers living there. It’s hard to fathom such devastation. I fear for our beautiful planet.

      I hope that the eye is healing well.


      • One year and just a tad under 2 months to go, not that I’m counting, of course. The fires continue, but following a slight cool change and a few patches of unenthusiastic rain, things are a little easier. They were knocked to slot 2 on the news by the events in London. I’ve been staying in touch with Dale in the middle of it by email and SMS, and they’ve been downgraded to a safer level, much to her relief. And the eye? Much better today, almost normal-looking.


  5. Don’t you look fabulous, at every age?! These “big” birthdays are weird, the way they make us re-think aging. I recently achieved a birthday commemorated in song (“Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m . . .”) and it put me right back on my heels. The wedding looks amazing–I would love to see this, in person, with all the details and joy. You and Mike looked fantastic–and how fun to have an excuse to wear such wonderful clothing!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I knew this was a big O birthday for you and wanted you to feel the extra love. I have 11 years on you so I know how special each and every birthday is. You’ve had a full schedule lately and I’m thinking the tendon wanted to give you some downtime. Just inconvenient timing. You both looked stunning in your celebration clothes. I loved the photos through the years! Your smile hasn’t changed a bit. It’s like sunshine wherever you go.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I have been missing your blog too Alys! You look gorgeous in your Indian clothes – what a treat going to a real traditional Indian wedding with all those lovely customs and colourful clothes. 😃
    Hope your foot heals soon and I also hope that those fires get under control until it rains…
    We have damp foggy weather with white frosts each morning and are grateful for every drop of rain after such a dry summer. Not comparable with your drought, but still tough on our countryside. Take care Alys! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Goodness, Alys, I was going to say first that many of your pictures show you quite glamorous, including the one at 60! Yay, you! Then I got to the truly glamorous photos of you in Indian wedding dress. Wow! And wow to both you and Mike in the one picture with the green jacket. Man. I’m glad you’re sheltered from the outages and the fires (except for smoke of course). I feel for the people affected by those fires–last year and this. Welcome back to the blogoshphere!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congrats on completing your 6th decade! I turned 62 in October and have decided that I’m going to start counting backwards from now on– next year I’ll be 61 and so on, lol! I really like the idea! 😀
    Attending an Indian wedding is a lavish event, by the looks of it. What a treat to participate in and see for yourself first hand. And you got to dress for the occasion, too. I love the brightly colored saris!
    I hope your foot is mending well, that must have hurt!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hello hello ! 60 schmixty! Honestly, there’s barely a difference between your 40’s and 60’s photos! If the next 20 years are as gentle, you will happily be strolling through your 80’s, looking 60 😀 and there’s so much fun to be had along the way.
    I’m watching the daily news with trepidation. My heart breaks for Californians and Australians and all of nature being threatened, injured and fleeing for their lives. It’s really scary. It seems like where there aren’t epic fires burning, there’s record breaking floods and never ending rain. Mankind has really made a mess of our little planet.
    All the more reason to take advantage of the good things life can offer us. Like that incredible wedding in Canada (where all the fun things happen, lol) ! You looked so beautiful and regal in your wedding attire. Mike should consider a shirt the colour of that scarf. Couture is such a treat! How awesome to be such a cherished part of their event.
    Looking forward to growing old together and enjoying ourselves along the way xoxo K

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Happy,happy birthday! I’m am perhaps one of the few who rejoices with each birthday: I am still on this beautiful planet, and I am still reading, writing, and creating. Wonderful pictures of you from two to sixty. Lovely way to mark the passage of time. Across the country, we watch in horror as flames engulf your state. So terrible, and I must admit I am glad you are out of harm’s way even though others have not been as lucky. Finally, those beautiful, beautiful clothes for the wedding. All this Mainer can say is “wowsah!”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s lovely to have a little catch-up with you, Alys. What a lovely wedding to attend and you looked beautiful in that gorgeous attire. Sixty is a milestone, but I, like you, passed it with a sense of gratitude that I have so many friends, good health and a lot to look forward to that makes the future hopeful. Hope your foot heals quickly and you can get out in your garden. 🙂

    I don’t know if you happened to see the PBS Frontline on the Paradise fire. It’s hard to watch, but I have a friend who lost her home and I felt compelled to watch it. It won’t do anything to assuage the jumpiness we feel when the winds kick up, but it was informative.

    Liked by 1 person

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