I put this native plant, Actaea racemosa (or Cimicifuga racemosa), into my garden a few years ago; this is the first year that it has flowered. Its flowers are so lovely, in so many ways. All at once, they are the color and texture of snow. They are at eye level and so have a rare boldness and height, for flowers that aren’t on fruit trees. The bright green, red-veined leaves and black stems are such contrast that the flowers are surprising, like fireworks in a night sky. This delicate plant restarts completely from the ground, every spring. I am grateful to be able to experience this strange and beauteous thing, and especially grateful to myself for buying it, and planting it within several yards of the back step of my house.
It is so very easy to get transfixed by or lost in all the things that I haven’t done yet in my life or even in my year or house. To bother trying to list them would not only be an exercise in futility, but also an exercise in committing violence to myself. That flower reminded me to acknowledge the things I have accomplished, to appreciate the efforts I have made, and to make conscious decisions about what I do want to tackle in an hour, a day, a month, or a year.