Pauline at Lead up the Garden Path recently commented that before she began her blog she had never taken as many photographs, and it’s definitely the same for me. We woke to such beautiful clear blue skies and a distinct whiteness to our neighbours’ field across the road that I took my camera into the garden before breakfast to look for frost-enhanced photo opportunities. We are relatively sheltered because the garden is fairly enclosed but there were a few examples, shown below, as well as a sparkly definition on the gnomon of the sundial in the centre of the rose garden. It isn’t an accurate sundial by any means, just a modern dial on a 300mm square slab on top of a reclaimed pillar – but it looks good.
Having decided to feature this picture I wanted to find a quotation related to ‘time’ for the post title – not surprisingly there was a huge choice in my Oxford Dictionary of Quotations but I got part way through the index and having looked up the fuller quote of this one and read more decided to go with it:
‘Every instant of time is a pinprick of eternity.
All things are petty, easily changed, vanishing away.’
Written, astonishingly, by Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from AD161, who recognised 2000 years ago that we have but a fleeting role in the overall scheme of things and, that as such, everything is just as it should be:
‘He who sees what is now has seen all things, whatsoever comes to pass from everlasting and whatsoever shall be unto everlasting time.’
‘Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear.’
‘Everything is fitting for me, my universe, which fits thy purpose. Nothing in its good time is too early or too late for me; everything is fruit for me which thy seasons, Nature bear.’
Marcus Aurelius was noted especially for his Meditations, from which these quotations come, and for propounding his stoic views, the Stoics being members of an ancient Greek school of philosophy holding that virtue and happiness can only be attained by submission to destiny and the natural law. Whatever views we hold on destiny, we gardeners are well aware of the need to work within the natural laws of the universe – have we moved our tender plants inside out of harm’s way yet?