Hookapooka

I came down with the hookapooka last weekend.  Hookapooka is something that sneaks up in the middle of the night and grabs you by the throat. You don’t know it until you wake up growling. It progresses quickly into multiple layers of slimy infirmities until you surrender to spending days inside suffering on the sofa in your socks and pajamas clutching wads of crumpled Kleenex. Ironically, it usually occurs when the seasons change.  However, there is an antidote . . . .

Thistles and Lemons


The sight of Royal Candles cheered me each day through the Hookapooka.
The sight of Royal Candles cheered me each day through the Hookapooka.

Typically, I get depressed when I’m sick but luckily, I had a view from my perch on the family room sofa this week through a large pair of French doors. Each time I woke from my hookapooka stupor, I witnessed dozens of new fuzzy thistles blooming outside atop stalks of silver-gray leaves heading skyward. My terrace is about eight feet off the ground below where the Royal Candles spread their roots. It gave me hope to see these blue and purple beauties blooming as I watched them grow taller, fuzzier and more brilliant each day.

The fat, yellow lemons shined like jewels in the garden.

And then I saw the lemons – sparkling like jewels among cerulean and royal purple cones; radiant, fat yellow lemons hung from stems laden with magenta colored buds and white flowers. Our friends Pat and Bob gave us a small potted Meyer lemon tree for Christmas a few years ago, which was finally loaded with fragrant flowers and delicious fruit.  It seemed the thistles and lemons grew bigger and brighter each day, which also cheered me through my misery.

Wildflowers 

Clusters of Erigeron flowers embellished the brick terrace.
Clusters of Erigeron flowers embellished the brick terrace.

After laying on the sofa for days, I pulled myself out of the heap of quilts and pillows to walk to the French doors and look closely at the new growth on the brick terrace.  In addition to the thistles and lemons, I saw tiny white petaled Erigeron flowers with stunning goldenrod centers thriving around the fireplace hearth, as well as at the base of the rusty iron railing that encloses the terrace.

Tiny balls of pink cones intermixed with the white Erigeron flowers.
Tiny balls of pink cones intermixed with the white Erigeron flowers.

Intermixed with these abundant flowers was a small bunch of tiny pale pink cone shapes clustered into little balls. Although I didn’t recognize these unusual flowers, I was amazed the pink balls and white Erigeron were growing out of the dirt beneath the red bricks. I decided the birds must have planted them, which made me smile in amazement.

Embellishing with Nature

Purple thistles transformed the dried, worn-out wreath on the front door.
Purple thistles transformed the dried, worn-out wreath on the front door.

Today is my seventh day battling the hookapooka. I finally turned a corner and was able to go outside to get up close and personal to all I had savored from inside. I brought my rusty red nippers and gently cut some blue and purple Royal Candles and a few Meyer lemons to put in special places where I could appreciate them more fully.

Green asparagus fern and purple thistles complemented one another.
Green asparagus fern and purple thistles complemented one another.

There was a sad and time worn dried wreath I bought last fall hanging on our ancient red front door.  I stuck some of the thistles in it, then added a few branches of lime green asparagus fern from the front yard to complement the blue and purple cone shaped flowers. The dried brittle circle stuffed with faded moss was instantly transformed into a wildly authentic and whimsical spring wreath.

Thistles, Erigeron and lemons shifted the energy in the kitchen.
Thistles, Erigeron and lemons shifted the energy in the kitchen.

Then I arranged a few small blue thistles, some asparagus fern and delicate white Erigeron in a rustic ceramic pitcher by the kitchen window. I piled three Meyer lemons with leaves and flowers into a green bowl beside it.  The energy in the kitchen seemed to shift as I inhaled the fresh smell of thistles and the tangy lemon scent.

Shifting Energy in Rooms

I opened small, French doors to the balcony to let in fresh spring air in the family room.
I opened small, French doors to the balcony to let in fresh spring air in the family room.

The family room where I spent the week healing needed help. I removed quilts and fluffed pillows on the sofa, opened small French doors to the balcony letting in fresh spring air and filled an orange, rectangular container with thistles, ferns, and lemon branches.

Lemons from the garden in a low green footed bowl.

Next, I layered more lemons from the garden into a footed bowl on our old Irish trunk that serves as a coffee table, then garnished them with fragrant lemon buds and flowers.

Lemons in the artwork in a tall footed yellow bowl.
Lemons in the artwork in a tall footed yellow bowl.

Just as thistles and ferns repeat their shapes, colors and textures, I loved the way the low green bowl of lemons mimicked the tall footed yellow bowl of lemons in the artwork above the sofa. By the time I finished embellishing the family room with nature, I felt good for the first time in a week. Bringing nature inside cleared the air and refreshed not only my energy, but the feeling in the family room as well.

Change of Seasons

If you find yourself feeling a little under the weather as the seasons change, embellish your rooms with nature, the source of all beauty. Go out in the yard or garden and cut some branches, greens, ferns, pods, fruit or flowers to fill your home with their shapes, textures, colors, smells and energy. It worked for me today as it has many times throughout my life. Beauty is truly an elixir which comes directly from the source – Nature. I swear by it during all seasons of the year and especially when I have the hookapooka.  In this season of new birth, I wish all of you love, health and happiness!

For the love of healing with beauty,

Linda Applewhite's signature
My best friend, Toby, stayed by my side throughout the Hookapooka.
My best friend, Toby, stayed by my side throughout the Hookapooka.
Showing 6 comments
  • Liz Nichols
    Reply

    I love the floral and lemon arrangements. Ditto the red and black cushions on the couch. You are so artistic with outside elements as well as indoors. I only wish I could do that with arrangements. I have to enjoy paintings of them on my end. Feel better fast.

  • deborah
    Reply

    So sorry you have the hookapooka….and so happy you have thistles and lemons nearby. Beautiful arrangements, colors. Your design always brings me such pleasure. Get well soon.

  • Lila Naimark
    Reply

    So beautiful. I, too, had the hookapooka and have finally recovered. Yay! Although I was away from my California home and Meyer lemons, the stunning, unexpected beauty of London springtime with zillions of flowering trees and daffodils everywhere definitely helped.

  • Sandra Hopper
    Reply

    Beautiful, creative floral & fruit displays! Your posted photos are so uplifting. I was happy to read Toby stayed with you through your Hookapooka. Our pets KNOW when we are under the weather. They have responded in such kindly ways in the past.

  • Maudie Vinci
    Reply

    Wow…
    Delightful…writing..felt as, I was there !!
    Beautiful Photos..

  • Deborah
    Reply

    Thank you Linda. I hope you’re on the mend and using the lovely flowers, art, colors, light to heal. I’m doing my best to fill my life, home and garden with beauty. As overwhelmed as I am with work, I’ve filled my living room with branches of cherry blossoms to force/ and roses.

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Linda Applewhite Golden Gate Blog