Forever Temporary


Blue ginger – after the flower is gone, the enjoyment lingers on in memory

I need reminding.

Nothing is forever.

This is never more evident than in my garden – a deep repository for life’s important lessons. It takes a gardener like me time to learn the lessons offered. Is that why I keep being presented with the same lesson over and over? Because it takes ‘forever’ to learn?

The grasshoppers have been ravaging my plants. Everywhere I look there are half consumed leaves.


Singapore ginger – a tasty meal for the grasshoppers

The hungry little critters ate the blossoms on my lemon tree too, diminishing hope of a good crop of lemons next season. If that’s not discouraging enough, some of my precious Hippeastrum Papillio bulbs have succumbed to the soggy conditions. Small losses, small disappointments in the greater scheme of things, but frustrating nevertheless.


Flowers from the ‘lost’ Papillio bulbs

Having a garden means coping with constant change. Some good and some less so. It’s funny how things appear just when you need them though.

Inspiration is no different.

This morning, a dear friend shared a quote with our circle, intending to lift the spirits of one among us who is coping with great change in her life. But like a ripple in a pond, the effects flowed on past her to all of us. As a consequence, I have resolved to see things differently.

The quote took me back to things I have lost in my life – important things – things I have grieved deeply for. I realised while I was focusing on all I had lost, I was failing to see the things I’ve gained. For although these ‘lost’ things are no longer mine, therefore temporary, I have experienced them, enjoyed them, grown through them, while they were mine. So it’s not the lost things themselves, the temporary things, but rather what comes from them. Those are the things to keep – those are the ‘forever’ things.

The shared quote:

Like a sandcastle, all is temporary

Build it, tend it, enjoy it

And when the time comes, let it go.

Jack Kornfield. 

And another from a favourite poet of mine

Sunlight fell upon the wall; the wall received a borrowed splendour. Why set your heart on a piece of earth, O simple one? Seek out the source which shines forever. Rumi




Mendinilla myriantha

26 responses to “Forever Temporary

  1. we have lived in this house for 41 years and we need to declutter. I am the worst hoarder and need to let things go. Your quote has strengthened my decision to let some stuff go. Indeed I will climb out of bed and clear a draw. Thanks for the prompt. The ripple goes on around the world

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It is so easy to forget that a closing door means we must focus on an looking for an opening somewhere else. The closing door takes all our attention, and prevents us seeing the path outwards. Letting go of “stuff” means letting go of memories, but we can still remember them in our minds A lovely post and comments, Robyn.


  3. Hi Robyn. Lots to think about here. One idea that came to mind is a simple “on the other hand”; i.e,  some think that real happiness lies in remembering experiences. Wordsworth, for example,  (in his poem “Intimations of Immorality”):

    “Though nothing can bring back the hour
    Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
    We will grieve not, rather find
    Strength in what remains behind;
    In the primal sympathy
    Which having been must ever be…”

    More concretely, in “Daffodils” he said he liked visions of flowers better than the flowers themselves. At home, he lay on his couch and pictured what he saw on a walk, and wrote

    “Then my heart with pleasure fills
    And dances with the daffodils.”

    But that’s poetry. Jack Kornfeld is talking about real life, I’m sure. Rumi too. You and they make a point worth taking seriously in the daily round of change and loss. Nice post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Albert, I think the romantic in me remembers things I have enjoyed with an amplified sense of that enjoyment. The Wordsworth poems you quote are particular favourites of mine – the first verse because it so beautifully expresses the essence of my post, and the second because my father so often quoted that verse and over the years it has revealed his heart to me. He would begin ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud …’ and we’d all stop to listen and wonder at the faraway look on his face. Thank you for the memories.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. You are so wise, Robyn, and this is a beautiful post. Thank you for the reminder.

    I’m sorry about the grasshoppers but I’m glad to learn there still are some somewhere in the world. Monsanto has pretty much taken them all out here, along with all the other critters I once enjoyed so much.

    Liked by 1 person

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