For Only A Season - In The Greenhouse With Uncle Clem (Chapter 4)
Night faded into dawn as I awakened, made my bed, washed up, meditated and stretched for my run. I tiptoed past Uncle Clem's room, down the stairs, and outside. With the moon lighting my way and a slight breeze at my back, I headed out of the gate and down Highway 84, taking in the crisp, fragrant air. It was so peaceful this time of morning that I felt as though I had the whole world to myself. Running down the road away from the property, I noticed the lights on in the greenhouse. I ran out about four and a half miles before I turned around and headed back to the farm, where I was drawn to the greenhouse.
Dawn had ceded to a pink-and-gold sunrise. Morning dew blanketed the green grass. The fog had lifted back to the clouds, and the birds chirped their hearts out. Both the trees and flowers were wearing new blooms. Even the scent of burning leaves in the air did nothing to detract from the beauty of the sun's ascent to lend light and warmth to a beautiful spring day. " Spring, when life begins anew ", as Uncle Clem loved to say.
Still winded from my run, I entered the greenhouse. The humidity and warmth caused me to perspire more. Vivid fragrances enhanced the beauty of all manner of flowers. As I walked through, I recognized African violets, mums, rhododendrons, bamboo, cacti, lilies, roses, tulips, marigolds, sunflowers, hibiscus, ferns, and several kinds of bonsai trees.
Seated near the back of the greenhouse, behind the arrangement counter, Uncle Clem was creating one of his masterpiece bouquets. Uncle Clem had a passion for growing crops and decorative plants. I watched as he patiently trimmed a final frond and added it to the flowers he was working on.
He looked up and smiled, " Good morning. How did you sleep?"
" Best sleep I've had in a while. I heard you stirring around while I was lying there getting ready to get up." I thought Clem looked good this morning, his pale skin radiating with a sense of energy and fulfillment. I let my worries about his health fade away for the moment.
He rose from the stool to place the arrangement on a side table. Then he drew an empty vase from under the table, added water, and set it before him as he sat down again.
" How was your run?"
" Exhilarating. It felt good to get out there in the still of a new day with just the moon, the stars and my thoughts."
" What do you think of the greenhouse?"........