Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Remains of That Day

Nature never fails to surprise you and especially when you least expect it. So it was for me the other day. 
But i wish i had done enough with the surprise to share it. Like capturing the surprise in my cyber-shot for memory sakes owing to the very transitory nature of the sight.
But that's one typical attitude with commoners like me and many a times the spectacular sight just stays captured in the memory. To be explained animatedly to hapless victims like friends or family who are careless enough to show the slightest interest.
If not,  then what better way than to blog about it.

The surprise had vanished and what remained was just the remains and it looked good enough but then not the actual thing.

i had missed the sight at first. Because the way the pot was hung and blame it on photrotropism or my hurried self,  i missed noticing the spectacular beauty at first. In fact when i picked up the grass like clump from the nursery i was more enchanted with the ornamental aspect and had no clues about it’s flowering or anything else what to talk of even it's name. The rich shiny green with the blades looking much more lush than common ornamental grass. The aesthetic appeal of the green clump as it sprung from the clay pot was what attracted me towards buying it and placing it next to the showy spider grass in the balcony of my humble flat.

And then i was surprised one fine morning when in an attempt to clean the hanging pot of the dried sprigs/wisps hanging untidily at the fringes of the planter,  i happened to see the most innocent beauty conversing happily with the sun. Now i got too carried away and just simply felt happy about the bloom which took me by suprise . For a few seconds perched precariously on my stool i remained motionless as i admired it with bated breath, my heart thumped with excitement and thrill at both the beauty and the discovery. Afterwards ran to bring in the others to share the surprise. So because of my own folly i can only rely on this borrowed image of what i saw. In any case since i am no photographer of sorts, i doubt if my own would be able to give an honest glimpse of the pristine beauty.
                                                             Zephryanthes grandiflora
                                                                 Zephyranthes candida
                                                                        Z  candida
                                                                        Z grandiflora

i wanted to know it's name and hence tried searching the net but in vain. The net gave many results of flowering ornamental grassses but none matched my beauty and it seemed like a wild goose chase. Perhaps it was the intense desire to know the name of this and still many others that i may encounter henceforth,  that led me to being head over heels over this huge and heavy book called BOTANICA which is an illustrated A-Z of over 10,000 garden plants. It was quite expensive but my purse strings were loose enough for my indulgence.
And a patient analysis that too with the helpful guidelines in the book, led me to something called Zephyranthes and under it the common names like Wind Flower, Zephyr lily, Rain lily.
The one i had in my balcony looked like Zephyranthes too and specifically Zephyranthes candida...Flower of the west wind, Storm lily and Zephyranthes grandiflora...Thunder Lily, Storm Lily.
Still my last fiasco with Trumpet vine/Flaming vine prompted me to be doubly sure. Nature just like words has synonyms and though at the outset they make look the same there is a subtle difference which only a naturalist can single out and make people like me notice. My anxiety can be ascertained by the fact that around me were very similar ornamental grasses which looked almost the same. Only a close perusal and some borrowed knowledge can help make out the difference.
Naturally an ignoramus like me wouldn't know the difference unless someone pointed out.

 So who else would i turn to but my Man Friday in identifying the correct names, Karthik

So that’s how i found out the name of the blossom springing out like magic from what i thought was just another ornamental grass. And the name was as poetical as the flower itself.
Pronounced Zephry-an-thees. Commonly known as Thunder lily, Storm lily.
Zephyr is a poetical word which distinguishes any usual wind from the one which is mild and soft. A west wind characterized by it’s gentleness is zephyr.
Zephyranthes…and the name conveys it all.
A beauty that is mild and soft. Maybe all flowers look soft and mild but there is a beauty in Zephyranthes that brings forth the thoughts of Innocence.
Something that is pure, untainted and delightful and never fails to surprise.

i had silent admiration laced monologues with what i thought was ornamental grass. Although at that moment i never thought of anything but admired the crocus like dainty flower perched on the slender green stalk looking towards the heavens with pride that is clearly distinct from egoistical pride. It looked so confident, so self assured while i wondered awestruck at it's delicate features. i was afraid even to touch it lest it gets damaged just like what would happen if one touches the delicate wings of a brilliantly hued butterfly.

The very next day when i eagerly looked towards the foliage squinting my eyes to single out the bloom, i could spot on that same slender green stalk 3 green beads from the centre of which hung the skein ...time burnt remains of my almost lavender like pink lily.

It was just yesterday that i saw it looking so sure.
Hidden from plain sight and almost blotted to obscurity against the blinding white light of the sky and yet it remained with it's head held high just yesterday. Actually still remains... looking towards the heavens... head held high but in another form,  ready to resurrect to life...thanks to nature.

Now as i wait for the bloom to surprise me yet again although it will surprise me no more because now i am expecting it to happen any day i can't help but remember Khalil Gibran the only one i can think of right now because i confess i am not well versed with any what to talk of the spiritually philosophical poet. None other but this one.

Song Of The Flower

I am a kind word uttered and repeated
By the voice of Nature;
I am a star fallen from the
Blue tent upon the green carpet.
I am the daughter of the elements
With whom Winter conceived;
To whom Spring gave birth; I was
Reared in the lap of Summer and I
Slept in the bed of Autumn.
At dawn I unite with the breeze
To announce the coming of light;
At eventide I join the birds
In bidding the light farewell.
The plains are decorated with
My beautiful colors, and the air
Is scented with my fragrance.
As I embrace Slumber the eyes of
Night watch over me, and as I
Awaken I stare at the sun, which is
The only eye of the day.
I drink dew for wine, and hearken to
The voices of the birds, and dance
To the rhythmic swaying of the grass.
I am the lover's gift; I am the wedding wreath;
I am the memory of a moment of happiness;
I am the last gift of the living to the dead;
I am a part of joy and a part of sorrow.
But I look up high to see only the light,
And never look down to see my shadow.
This is wisdom which man must learn.

An afterthought...
Was my dainty, petit and innocent one also conversing with me? Trying to whisper sweet nothings into my ear or something major but softly? Something that i was not receptive to as i was too caught up with her transitory beauty?
Was it trying to tell me something by it's demeanor when i was just enraptured by it's sudden physical appearance ?
Something like, "Keep Your Face To The Sunshine And You Cannot See The Shadows."
Was it?...
Now watching the green beads of seed and the skein that still remains on the slender green stalk i realize that the dainty lily never counted the moments and just lived well enough to suprise me, then make me happy and finally also teach me something valuable.
i just wish i could be like the storm lily...set aside my worries and just live fully each day, each moment...


  1. u feel them so right.this post is an inspiration.i too have this grassy plant.the next thing i am going to do is to feel it the way u do.thanx.

  2. @Gauri thank you sweetie pie but remember to ask your Forest Officer to single it out to you.
    At one look it may look the same...all these fully green ornamental grasses that you have.
    Botanica tells me that they flower in cloudy weather so just keep looking and hope you are as delighted by yet another sight of an innocent wonder.:)

  3. I like your perseverance.
    In comparison, I too have seen many such plants/grasses, but never really bothered to see them the way you have done and presented in this lovely post. A true nature lover that you are, may the good lord shower us with further information through these lovely write-ups.

  4. @Tandarin yeah sometimes i feel i don't bother too but like i said whether you bother or not nature surprises us with her many nuances.
    Thank you for appreciating my discovery and my attempt to share.
    Sure whatever i learn of nature on my road called should be on my blogs...i hope.:)
    Maybe i'm getting too predictable but nevertheless.:)

  5. nicely written.After reading u learn so much abot plant ,nature.Good keep it up.

  6. @ Chandra Vir thanks Lali for ur kind words and ur patience. :)

  7. Very well written Shivani. I always learn something new reading your blogs. I have a few plants too,but never admired them as well as you do. Thanks for a wonderful write-up.

  8. @Preeti you love me too much...all ur appreciation tells me that.
    Yeah i just think about sharing what i know...throw my matter to the universe...somewhere someone like u finds it worth i feel rewarded in a way.
    Thanks a lot sweetie and wish you and family a delightful and funfilled Diwali.

  9. A refreshing read...Also worth the message at the end. Happy Diwali!

  10. @Kiran thank you and Happy Diwali to you too :)