Saturday, October 31, 2009

Passionate Petals... Reflecting on Our Words

This year as I’ve journeyed through life contemplating faith and joy, I’ve been more aware of the beauty around me each day. Yet even though my focus has been on these two words, I’ve still had days when I saw the world through a darker lens. A busy schedule and seemingly constant demands have clouded my world at times.

When Peggy suggested that we choose a flower that reflects our words, my first thought was on finding a photo that captured the essence of joy. I thought of sunny buttercups and my mother’s favorite flower, tulips. I also thought of flowers that connected to my word, faith. All of which led me to Caroline of Nowordz Photography, one of the most gifted photographers I know.

Caroline brings joy to many with her ability to capture the beauty of everyday life, so I asked if she would be willing to share one of her photographs with me. And she sent this lovely shot...

The beauty of the flower against the muted tones of the background seemed to perfectly capture my feelings this month. Even when peering through the world in an imperfect fashion, there we find it. Beauty. It stands out against the backdrop of life leaving us with a more peaceful and joyful feeling.

Thank you, Caroline! If you haven’t been to her site, you’ll want to click right on over to Nowordz Photography and to Whimsical Whispers. I’m sure you’ll be inspired and in awe of what you see.

Peggy, who suggested that we choose flowers to reflect our words this month, shares this beauty with us...

The amazing flower I chose to represent my word is called "Hippeastrum Cinderella".I took this photo in my hairdresser's garden last week. The complete beauty and balance of this flower called to me as I was leaving his house.

Flowers have always been a source of pleasure and happiness symbolizing love and friendship and since the dawn of time we have instinctively known that flowers can lift our spirits and make us feel well again. They play an important role in restoring or evoking a sense of harmony in mind, body and spirit of healing in its quintessential form.

Annemarie shares this...

The orchid is considered to be one of four noble plants. Because it grew deep in the mountains, it was compared to scholars who had transcended the greed and fame-seeking of the secular world.

Orchid growth is affected by everything from elevation and light to humidity, air movement and nutrition. When I looked up how to care for this "delicate" flower, I realized that this is a flower I would probably kill in just a few days. In my search for a more disciplined life, I came to an understanding about myself. I like my laid back life. I love that I am not always worried about menus and shopping lists. My children are healthy and happy. Yes, my house is less than tidy, and my flower pots outside are less than tended, but I am happy. So as this year of searching for discipline is nearing an end, I will begin thinking about what it is that I would like to work on next year....I have two more months to think about it.

AVT Coach shares this with us...

I have spent the past ten months with an action plan to have the most abundant life possible. I have cultivated new friendships and renewed old ones. I have committed time to family and used social media to create more connections with people. I made efforts to use my leadership skills in my work and have encouraged countless families in their journey toward spoken language. I have meditated and prayed. I have listened to music that stirs my soul. I have set new goals for fitness and nutrition. Abundance has been all around me each step of the way.

My chosen flower can only be the flower that is a personal favorite. I have chosen the poppy. I smile when I see an abundance of poppies scattered across a field as in a Van Gogh painting. The dichotomy is that poppies have a bad rap. They are associated with a shady industry that is the demise of many people, unhealthy, commemorate the death of soldiers in some countries and symbolize remembrance.

They were used in the Wizard of Oz to hinder Dorothy's journey down the yellow brick road. Even so, looking over a field of these beautiful flowers gives me a feeling of abundance and of gratitude. Abundance spread in the open for all to see and enjoy.

And Octamom shares this....

As my blog buddies and I continue through our Reflecting on Our Words project, I have been delighted with the number of ways my creative friends have come up with to bring imagery and metaphor to their guiding word for the year. This month, the theme was to choose a flower that exemplifies each of our words. It was a fun mental challenge to think through flora and fauna that would give example to my 2009 word, excellence.

I at first thought of flowers that have great beauty or hardy qualities or are rare. But what kept coming back to me is the flower that we see a lot of during this season, the blossom that someone decided is the 'birth flower' for November. And that would be the chrysanthemum. (The chrysanthemum illustration on the right is from the New International Encyclopedia from 1902, with the image url being hosted at Wikipedia.) The chrysanthemum is actually native to Asia and wasn't introduced into Europe until the 17th century. It is often seen as a symbol in Chinese and Japanese artwork. In the U.S., it is a floral symbol of the season, a happy spot of color for the autumn.

Chrysanthemums are also used in a number of beneficial ways. The petals can be used to make a sweet tea. The blossoms make a natural insecticide that is not harmful or toxic to animals and humans. The plant is also used as an antibiotic and an antiviral agent. A potted indoor chrysanthemum has also been shown to be effective in reducing indoor pollutants in the air.

And now for the tie-in to my 2009 word, excellence.

True excellence brings with it the benefits similar to the chrysanthemum. When I operate in excellence, I can make life sweeter, more palatable for those around me. When I operate in excellence, I can help reduce the pests of procrastination and apathy. When I operate in excellence, I can help fight off the infecting agents of mediocrity. And when excellence is present in the room, the environment is all the cleaner for it.


miruspeg said...

Passionate Petals....maybe that is what we should call ourselves...LOL.

What a delightful year it has been so far....the five of us each month sharing our thoughts, our feelings, our desires, our understanding what our words evoke. And in turn learning about each others words.....pure joy!!

I completely agree with your description about Caroline's photography. It is awe inspiring isn't it.

Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget to "smell the roses" or the buttercups, tulips...etc

Big hugs
Peggy xxx

McMGrad89 said...

Ooh, Peggy! That sounds like a wonderful idea.

Roban, I love the picture that Caroline sent to you. You did an wonderful job connecting it to your words. I always like Caroline's photos, but your words added the perfect touch.

AVT Coach said...

So glad to get your post! I too thought of Caroline's photographs when I thought of a flower. Bless you for bringing her into our fold by inviting a photograph. I have been so grateful for her this year for she has truly been an inspiration. Your post is wonderful with beautiful words! We are learning so much from each other, I can't wait for what the future brings us!

charrette said...

What a great idea to choose a flower to represent your deepest ideals.

I think these are all great.

I would choose a blue hydrangea. So rare, a blue flower. And they subtly adapt to their environment by changing color depending on the acidity in the soil. I especially love the blue ones, I think, because it's the acid that turns them other words, they thrive in adversity.

charrette said...

Roban, this is a tad off topic because I don't have your email address, but I LOVE your idea of testing my manuscript with your 8th graders, and also LOVE the idea of blogging with them about the writing process!
I'm willing to start a new blog just for this discussion!

Here's my email:

Let's talk further!

Relyn said...

Such a beautiful image from a generous friend. I really love the courage you write with, the openness. Be well. Take care. Be blessed.

Candace said...

Can I just say your posts are amazing. I look forward to everyone! You make me want to do better with my own blog. Keep up the good work!!

Caroline said...

I am so glad you like the photo...I am no late in getting here. The reflections this month are so amazing and insightful. I do hope that you all continue this next year...such a powerful exercise.

Be well :)