Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Simply wildflowers

Simply Wildflowers, Warner, NH, June 2006, HP Photosmart R817, Exposure 1/150 sec @ f2.8, ISO 200, no flash © Steven Crisp

It can happen anywhere. You are walking along a non-descript field and then something cathces your eye. You are not sure why, but you like its shape, its color, the contrast with its surrounds. And you call it beauty. You start to see it more and more as you look around with full attention, with presence, with awareness.

Just stop for a moment. Pretend you are not trying to get from point A to point B. In primary school they may have taught you that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but you realized that was an abstraction, right? There are no points, no lines. These are mathematical concepts that help us solve conceptual problems. You don't have to live your life like a math problem.

So wander about a little. Like those Family Circus cartoons when the child is called home for dinner, and he takes the most circuitous route, just to explore everything he can on his way home. Open your eyes and see what the world has to offer. Smell all the scents. Feel all its textures. You'll be surprised as to how much of it is beautiful, and the more you reflect, and linger, and ponder, the more beautiful it becomes. Right before your eyes.

I offer this poem to help reinforce the point:
Love and Happiness: This Was The Most Beautiful Flower
-- by Cheryl Costello-Forshey

The park bench was deserted
as I sat down to read,
Beneath the long, straggly branches
of an old willow tree.

Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent
on dragging me down.

And if that weren't enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me,
all tired from play.
He stood right before me
with his head tilted down,
And said with great excitement,
"Look what I found!"

In his hand was a flower,
and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn down
not enough rain, or too little light,

Wanting him to take his dead flower
and go off to play,
I faked a smile and then shifted away.

But instead of retreating
he sat next to my side,
And placed the flower to his nose and declared
with overacted surprise,
"It smells pretty and it's beautiful too.
That's why I picked it; here it's for you!"

The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colours, orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it,
or he might never leave.

So I reached for the flower and replied,
"Just what I need."
But instead of him placing the flower
in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.

It was then that I noticed
for the very first time,
That the weed-toting boy could not see,
he was blind.

I heard my voice quiver,
tears shone like the sun,
As I thanked him for picking
the very best one.

"You're welcome" he smiled
and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he's had on my day.

I sat there and wondered
how he managed to see,
A self-pitying woman
beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know about
my self-indulged plight?

Perhaps from his heart, he'd been
blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child,
at last I could see,

The problem was not with the world;
the problem was me.
And for all of those times
I myself had been blind,

I vowed to see the beauty in life,
and appreciate every second that's mine.

And then I held that wilted flower
up to my nose and breathed in the fragrance
of a beautiful rose.
And I smiled as I watched that young boy,
another weed in his hand,
About to change the life
of an unsuspecting old man.


kerrdelune said...

(Sigh) this happens to me every single day - I see a flower in the wild or a weed blooming in a hedgerow and am carried away by the sight ot it. Liminal moments which are sustaining..

Steven Crisp said...

Kerrdelune, you are lucky indeed. I hope to experience this more and more often. Thanks for visiting, and I checked out your site, and was mighty impressed. What fantastic photographs.