Last week it was so exciting to see the new bulbs coming up in the yard, witnessing the promise of Spring again. As mentioned in my previous post I have more images of those little lovelies here.
The ritual of checking the flowers each day, using my lens and recording it, has been filled with more insight, more surprises. As I review the images it appears that they are all about the same; green leaves and some greenish yellow buds that will soon break open.
Ho hum, same thing day after day….
Patience is not one of my better virtues. Add to this a dusting of snow on Thursday, maybe a half inch, and it just seemed like Winter was going to freeze the flowers, that Spring would not get here….at least not as fast as I think it should.
I want Polaroid Daffodils, please. Instant, overnight blossoms, filling my yard, complete with a rainbow, and butterflies, and a balmy 72 degrees….
Isn’t this what we want in our spiritual lives? Rapid results. Read that self help book and be instantly changed and never ever go back to those habits we didn’t like. Listen to a speaker giving great instructions on being a better person, and just like a New Year’s Resolution, make a promise to do this new thing, this new way of being.
Then Winter happens, or makes an extended visit. Life happens; we get discourage, we get angry, we feel lonely, we just can’t sustain the energy to make that Big Change. It feels like we are on a plateau. So often we give up at this stage, and ‘settle’ for what has always been.
But there is a lesson in this week of waiting for flowers to bloom. Deep down in the bulb there is a flower, there is nourishment for that flower and those leaves, and there is the life giving water that keeps it going. From above there is the glorious sunlight, even on rainy days, that causes the plant to come up from the rich fertile soil almost like magic before our eyes. And it the perfect timing of the Creator, not our time, blossoms do come.
Flowers need time. So do we.
In perfect timing, the teacher appears when we, as students, are ready to learn. A familiar passage, once misunderstood, one day comes to us with deeper, clearer meaning. One day we look back on our lives and see for ourselves that we are changed, we think differently now, we relate to others in a new way. And we learn that, just like a humble daffodil, we are beautiful inside and out, placed on this earth for a purpose.
A challenge this week in Picture Inspiration is to create a self portrait; take the camera and point it at yourself and take your photo. Easier said than done.
Technically you really have to think about it, where to sit or stand, whether to use a tripod or sit the camera on a table, and then how you are going to snap the shutter. You can’t just take one. Take several so you can choose the best of the batch.
This is not for the faint hearted. You must be strong, you must be brave, and you must be able to accept yourself as you are seen in that lens.
|not so well behaved…|
Over fifty photos later, after much deleting, much waffling back and forth, much criticism of my own looks – gray hair, wrinkles, spots, thick unruly hair, just don’t like what I see – I finally chose two images.
This first one is shy, well behaved Deborah. You may recognize her if you know me personally.
This second one is not so well behaved Deborah. Probably the true Me.
Here are the words I shared in the online class as I posted these:
“Maybe you know the feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability that come when you decide to show a picture of You in Real Life. An Avatar is so easy to fall back on because then you don’t really see me; even a self photo as I hide behind a camera is easy because you don’t see all of my face. I guess what helped get me past the real trepidation of sharing this shot with all of you is that it’s time for me to just be who I am, sassy attitude and all, and just put it all out there. The woman looking back at me here is someone I want to get to know better.”
Maybe the subject of this post is not that Self Portraits Are Difficult, but that getting to know our selves, learning to love ourselves, is our most challenging task.