Warming up to take the stage

I happened upon a gathering of daffodils a few days ago…basking in the spotlight of the afternoon sun. One was gazing into the distance as if surveying the crowd. Which, at that point, was just me and the tall arborvitaes off to the side. The trio to its right? Ready and waiting.

It was a glorious warm afternoon and the entertainment was enjoyed by all…well, just me and the arborvitaes. But well worth it as the finale ensued…

…and the spotlight moved on as the afternoon came to a close.

Six Word Saturday
BeckyB’s BrightSquare
Cee’s Flower of the Day

Sun Soaked

What a desolate place would be a world without a flower.

Clara Lucas Balfour

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Very much inspired by Dutch goes the Photo’s Tuesday Photo Challenge: Renewal

…please share what brings renewal to you

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While scrolling through my plethora (I love that word) of photographs looking to complete a project, I happened upon this one image (amongst many) of a sunflower. Frank’s prompt for this week immediately came to mind. I stopped scrolling…Renewal!

I remember that beautiful day last fall (last fall? seems like years) wandering through a local apple orchard, but being much more interested in the rows of sunflowers nearby. Many had already been cut away and sold, but a few remained. A singular flower with its face to the sun in particular caught my eye and made me smile.

It still does.

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Watch and Wait and Water…But Not Too Much

Do you think I killed it?

No you didn’t kill it.

Are you sure? Maybe I overwatered it.

No you didn’t.

I feel so bad. It only lasted a few weeks.

You didn’t kill it. Flowers die.

Right.

But of course I know that…

My husband and I received an early Christmas gift at the end of November: a pot holding an amaryllis bulb. I think the last one we ever had was in 1980. Needless to say, the memory of it and its life span has faded.

Directions were thankfully simple – just water when the soil feels dry. Of course then I had to remember to CHECK the soil & make that determination, but in my overwhelmed mind I managed to call up enough neurons to handle the task.

I have had flowering plants before – with varying degrees of success, but never paid such close attention before.

Not to sound melodramatic…but when faced with a pot of dirt and a bulb…meh?…one can forget the potential. As in…what happens next.

No big deal, nothing special, except…it is.

As I felt myself closing in and closing up during these past 8 months, I was drawn to that pot of potential (should I call it magical? maybe so). Glanced its way when I walked through the living room. Curiosity got the better of me – as it often does.

And then nature began to do what nature does. Up close on a shelf under our picture window…safe from the cold wintery scene a glass width away.

And…because it’s what I do…I documented. Cheered it on. Rotated it in the sun. Fashioned a coat hanger as a stake. Moved it back and forth from its spot by the window to keep me company where I sat at my desk in the next room. As the sunlight moved from window to window, so did the pot. I didn’t name this Amaryllis as I did my Coleus plant in college (Calvin Coleus), but I should have. I felt an unusual affinity for Ms. A (as I will now call it/her – after all it gave forth life)….

My own Breaking Happy News.

Watch and wait. A theme for 2020. Through the loneliness of holidays in isolation. Swirling uncertainty about the direction my country was headed. The uneasy realization that I took way too much for granted for too many years.

The over-riding questions were my last thoughts before sleep and my first thoughts upon waking…Would goodness prevail? Would those in charge do the right thing?

Meanwhile goodness was happening in front of my eyes…

The unimaginable kept happening in 2020. And then again six days into 2021. This time it wasn’t stacks of bodies in refrigerated trucks or lines of cars with desperate people needing food. It wasn’t only the virus anymore. The shock of January 6th played out repeatedly on every news cycle for days.

Meanwhile goodness continued in front of my eyes…


Grandma, why do you watch the news?
Because I want to know what is happening.
But why?
Because it’s important.

What I didn’t say was that the news has been scary and upsetting, but that’s what happens sometimes and even more so now. But better to know…than not to know. Except when you’re 4 1/2.

Goodness kept happening in front of my eyes.

Eventually breaking news seemed less…broken. I’d like to think goodness prevailed – as order was restored. Maybe, just maybe, a return to kindness and empathy and hope?

The virus rages on but perhaps with a tiny vaccine light brightening our way to a return to whatever used to be “normal.”

Watch and wait.

Nature did what nature does…in front of my eyes.

From beginning to end.

No reason to be sad, but I was. I did, however, read up on how – maybe – I can somehow take care of it so it will bloom again.

Life goes on, until it doesn’t. No startling realization there. Often we have no choice in when and where and how. But remembering how so much beauty and joy can happen along the way?

That’s the choice we do have. Lately it’s been hard to recognize. Thank you Ms. A.

I’m happy to report…I got my first vaccine shot on Wednesday. There’s something to be said for being a “senior” (notice I put that in quotes) and getting to be next in line. ✔︎

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I am happy to slip back into my blogging world after these weeks offline and check out what everyone has been up to. I have missed your stories (adventures! exploits!), your photographs, your poems. Here’s to a better 2021!

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SoCS: Stream of Consciousness Saturday – This week’s prompt is “the beginning, the end.” Write about the beginning of something and the end of something. 

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: White or Cream Colors

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: White or cream colors
Cee’s Flower of the Day

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It isn’t often that white flowers get their deserved attention, so I am taking advantage of this challenge opportunity.

I am also grateful to focus on white (tinged with pink…) flowers rather than life and world events. Just not up to that at the moment.

Thank you Cee!

White tulips took center stage a few years ago in a Mother’s Day bouquet.

They also outlasted their yellow counterparts!

Macro Monday: Look at Me

Look at Me!

While walking along the sidewalk at Hampton Beach a few months ago, I noticed the sun (always the sun) highlighting a perhaps often overlooked narrow strip of a garden. Including a seemingly oversized leaf in the midst of a lovely flower display.

It needed a sign:

It’s not just about the sand and the surf people! Please look down here!

The only way to show proper respect for these beauties of nature was to fill the frame, sun and all.

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Cee’s Flower of the Day (maybe someone can identify this plant!)

Macro Monday: Sun Gazing

Yesterday I visited a local apple, peach and lots of other fruit orchard. It also featured a socially distant Harvest Festival of sorts. By the time we arrived, however, it was late afternoon – which for me – is perfect camera time.

Behind the buildings selling fruits, local vegetables and their specialty – apple cider donuts – was a huge field of sunflowers. It looked like a convention of yellow…everyone slouching and trying to pay attention.

The sunflowers struggled to lift their faces to the sun. Their drooping leaves and browning petals evidence of the area’s severe drought.

However, as with anything…there are always exceptions…and I did discover a sunflower rising a bit above the rest. Its face backlit and lifted.

I like to think it was posing.

Cee’s Flower of the Day

Macro Monday: Butter & Eggs

butter & eggs wildflower
Butter and Eggs

I discovered these sweet little wildflowers yesterday on a walk along the local river. The chain link fence always provides an interesting backdrop to flower escapees as I like to call them. Flowers and vines and such that Will Not Be Contained.

Mmm. Maybe too much projection going on, but I call it as I see it.

My husband, aka the sometimes expert in residence, (whose father’s business was hunting, collecting and selling wildflowers worldwide) declared I think Dad called these flowers “Butter and Eggs.”

Really?? said I.

Google concurred.

And they do kind of look the part, don’t they?

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Cee’s Flower of the Day