• Sam Baker

the best name

Morning glory is the best name, it always refreshes me to see it. -Henry David Thoreau

Morning Glory


On the adobe wall in the garden are morning glories. They attach by tentacles and climb slowly. Maybe 4 feet. Like rock climbers with anchors. One anchor at a time. One tentacle at a time. Specifically they are (I think) Ipomoea Purpurea. According to wiki, this particular flower is a common Morning Glory. As if any flowering plant with that name could be common. It blooms, as its name indicates, in the morning. At the changing of the day. At the day refreshed. At the glory of morning.


So-new flower. New Day! Celebration! Glory!


Other kinds of morning glories bloom at night. Maybe they bring the beautiful night to us too with its halo of celestials. And those names! Andromeda! Comet Lovejoy! The Crab Nebula! The Pleiades! The Whirlpool Galaxy! Vela Pusar!


In the beginning were the morning glories. In the beginning were the night glories. They separated light from dark. On the third day came the flowers. On the fourth came light and dark. Makes sense. One follows the other.

Down here on earth where we live, these plants are also medicinal. The seeds of one variety have been used in China as a laxative.

One species is hallucinogenic. One produces bouncing rubber balls.


So there you have it. Very complex things. And beautiful. Like everything I suppose.

The climbing vines are wilted today. It is a late October morning in the high desert. Awaiting winter, their leaves droop yellow. Tangled one to another they fall and falling mix with other fallen leaves. Other falling debris. They nestle together on the ground awaiting cold. Awaiting snow.

Among the tangle of drooping and dying leaves still clinging to the wall though, are two freshly bloomed flowers. A lovely combination of blue, purple, and white. Look at what they bring! This new day. This blue sky, this white yellow sun rising above these Sangre de Cristo Mountains.


It is not yet eight am in the morning and there is so much going on. So much happened in the night. In the darkness. Now brought to the glory of this morning.

So much to explore. I think that is why dogs, when they first go out in the morning, are so excited to see and smell the new day. So much is new. The night was so busy. The great mystery of darkness.


The mountains remain fixed below the climbing sun as it rises through the branches of an ancient white spruce tree. Rays of sun, now above the adobe wall (which of course is mud formed into wall formed into garden) illuminate the garden's heavy wooden door with its bronze angel.

A cold front is pushing in beside the eastern mountain. This cold wind will blow this autumn into the past with millions or billions of long gone autumns. Maybe my two morning glories know that this is the ball game for this year. Done deal. It is almost time to go back in the great blender of time and soil and the turning twisting earth beneath the magnificent Whirlpool Galaxy. Its own self twisting and turning and jetting through space. Maybe with its own morning glories welcoming its own day. Welcoming its own night.


Producing its own bouncing rubber balls.



morning glory

photograph