I photograph flowers. Ordinary flowers. Tulip and Iris in the spring, Columbines in summer and Dahlia’s, Gladiolas and Sunflowers in late summer and through fall – if I’m lucky. I am a regular in the garden the rabbits and birds know me well. The Bees don’t mind when I come around poking my nose and or my camera into a blossom to enjoy a moment the such-ness of the scent of a flower and /or to experience the buzz of Bees calming and soothing me on some energetic level. But I wonder you know? I keep going back to the same place, same subject and theme and lately I’ve been asking myself why? Why flowers and why do I keep returning – keep showing up in Blue Lake Ranch’s back gardens?
Yesterday, I was asking myself that question as I trudged up the path leading through the deer gate into the heart of the gardens and the fruit of Master gardener Dawa’s labor and good intentions and paying a glancing gaze at a gangly sunflower standing guard over the flowers I saw a flash of bright color through a break in the trees and before my mind could say “boo” my jaw dropped and I felt my heart stop – then open to lightenment as I walked further in to the garden. Paying attention I noticed a smile had formed on my lips where before had been a tightness as I stewed on the question: “am I doing this out of habit – am I bored silly and do not know it?” By force of habit and in need of sheltering my feet took me straight away to the nearest bit of shade besides the Gladiolas’ and there I knelt and began to drink the colors, the light, the movements of the flowers, in and it came upon me.
I feel joy surrounded by flowers, I feel at ease and at peace, I feel sheltered, secure and safe and I experience the energy the time the effort and the love poured into the earth and breathed into the flowers not only by Dawa and Dave and the good folks who own and maintain this place but also to Mother Earth and Father sky, to the rains that fall and the winds that blow and to God – to the Creator of Creation. I experience these states of mind through this body in standing and in kneeling in the bones and being part of Earth……and I don’t seem to experience self the same in any other place or way. It’s therapy for my soul.
With no second guessing or rumination in sight I quickly saw that being in a garden and being in the presence of flowers feeds my soul and it’s good energy, high octane stuff, way better than watching TV or what I get from engaging in social media or worse – fretting over the conditions of the world and its people…..and with one look at a flower I’d become intimate with the day before, noticing how different it was then and was now I realized it I’d have to be pretty thick to ignore how the entire garden changes with the changing of the light, changes with the revolving of the earth, changes each moment by movement or the gentle tickling of a Humming bird or a Bee poking into the heart of flower….. poking into the heart of me too. Changing is what gardens do and they do it without fuss or fight, without holding on – without clinging to what has passed – people can learn a lot from watching flowers…I keep learning how “everything in life just passes away,” and the flowers keep showing me how to gracefully let go.
Flower season is nearly done for the time being. Autumn is coming – a change is in the air. Hanging out with flowers rejuvenates my spirit and quiets my mind. I spend more time simply watching, standing, gazing at a Bee at work selecting among all the choices, a blossom to caress with it’s wings and little bug feet. In other words, its a meditative space, a heart space, a head space, a place of spirit and soul of love and labor. It is a place where imagination and creativity, repetition and chance and color, light and love co-mingle and dance.