Day 353 of 366 Blog Challenge 2012

Hello all

This morning Geoff and I wrote up our Christmas cards to post for the season. The heat of summer had finally caught up with us but as the electric fan swayed to and fro, we were at peace in our writing. The tree was lit, soft Christmas music played and then a surprise visitor arrived to share coffee served with Christmas cake and shortbread.

It was indeed a fine way to spend a morning! So, in the spirit of the season, I want to share a poem I wrote at the end of 2011 when our garden was aglow with flowers despite the heat of summer. Rains had come earlier and the grass was lush and green and nature was overjoyed. I wrote this poem at that time.

Today, I present it to you. In the poem I write about a hot Australian Christmas and the life lessons that nature teaches us …  such as allowing ourselves to be what God created us to be and not trying to replicate anyone else. Here it is. Enjoy!

Our Poinciana Tree flowering in the back yard

Our Poinciana Tree flowering in the back yard


                                                                    … the Poinciana Tree

There comes a time of year

In our hot Australian summer

When we look to the Poinciana tree

To see red flowers en masse

Five fluted petals

Atop delicate leaves of green

They sit intact all November long

And by Christmas time

They begin descending slowly down.

It is not snow that comes

      in our Australian Christmas

But spent Poinciana petals falling to the ground

They lay on the lawn lush and green in a sprinkling of red

They remind us it is time to celebrate

The birth of Jesus: the child who came to us

They are the red and green of an Australian Christmas.

mock orange

Near the Poinciana tree

Blooms the mock orange bush

Undaunted by the summer heat

Bushes of green covered in white globules, round with delight

Unfurling their curly flowers

In tune with the music of summer.

It is a reminder to keep our hearts pure

       at Christmas time

Pure in thought – no judgment

Pure in deed – kind actions

Pure in words – gentle speech

Their sweet perfume lingers in the air

Intoxicating and heady

Another reminder:

–      to be a sweet fragrance to all

 –     to enhance lives

 Not leave them soiled and putrid

After we have passed them by.

The spent Poinciana flowers fall

And settle on the white curly blossoms

Like a decorated Christmas tree

Of green, white and red

Dramatic and delightful.


The red spray too of the Cigarette plant

Invades the space of the mock orange plant

As if to say: “Here I am!”

Masses of tiny bell-shaped flowers  hanging from long fine stems

Cascading and making their presence felt

Almost in competition to the mighty Poinciana tree

– yet they will never take its place –

They lack the power

     – the grace

     – the beauty

 Of the giant Poinciana tree.

Like the Cigarette plant

Some of us possess a ‘little’ beauty

Whilst others, like the Poinciana tree,

      stand tall and stately

 And dominate the garden

With beauty beyond compare.

Yet, the cascades of the Cigarette plant

Add a dimension to the garden

Their beauty unique and true.


The spent flowers of the Poinciana tree

Not everyone can be a Poinciana tree

No, all are not the same

Each of us unique in beauty.

Viewed up close

The Cigarette plant is delicate and pretty

Sitting happily at the feet of the Poinciana

Content to be subservient

And to adorn that mighty tree

For some of us the same is true.

The Christmas garden is a teacher of lessons

For nature comes to us like grace

And compels us to better things

To beauty and purity of heart

To blossom where we are planted

To be ourselves regardless of size or shape

To allow the summer rains to make us lush

And the summer dry to force our roots

       deep into the earth

Simply to be what God created us to be

Not trying to replicate someone else.

It reminds us of the season

Of stifling heat not flakes of snow

            – our own unique landscape

And most of all it reminds us

To embrace the red and green

Of our hot Australian Christmas

As we herald the birth of  the Child who came to us …