If I have exhausted the justifications, I have reached bedrock and my spade is turned. Then I am inclined to say: "This is simply what I do."
- Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations
One thing I do is appreciate my climate. It’s been a week of rain and blustery cold. The thermometer on the north side porch read 45F yesterday when I made my morning coffee. Today it reads 50. For many, this is paradise, but for Southern Californians, this is winter.
Another thing I often do this time of year is spend a few minutes in the back yard with a camera, Although the slanting late afternoon winter light is inviting and photogenic, I’m no longer acclimated to the chill of what we call winter here. I prefer to work outdoors on sunny days, when I can feel the vitamin D soak into my skin as the warmth soaks into my bones.
This is a small cotoneaster that I bought last autumn, to console myself after my 20 year old ginkgo bonsai died of thirst last summer. The silhouette against the neighboring blue pot caught my eye. It seems to be weaving a pattern with its shadow. I have no pretensions of creating bonsai, but I enjoy trying. Problem is, I haven’t the heart to trim this beauty, because instead of politely dropping its leaves to display its bones for shaping, this plant dressed itself up in its very own Christmas decorations. It was telling me that this is simply what the cotoneaster does.