Friday, April 08, 2011

Three to Inspire

Over the winter we lost a bunch of rose bushes, and I thought for sure the cranky old heirloom we inherited along with the house would finally call it quits, too. She's always been scrawny and scraggly, but the cold killed one of the two big canes sprouting from her base. When my guy pruned off the dead part I thought for sure that would finish her off.

The old girl surprised me (again) by being the first to sprout leaves and then rosebuds. While our other surviving bushes were just beginning to leaf up, she got busy producing a half-dozen roses a week. She also changed her colors again; in March she was giving us blush pink blooms with tangerine hearts, now she's blooming with pale pink roses with pale yellow hearts (and you can see more of my first roses of spring here.)

So every time I feel tired, old and/or out of step with the world, I just look at Cranky's blooms on my desk and remember all she's been through and how steadily and beautifully she keeps producing.

When we were kids my guy and I were both artists; he liked to draw boats and planes while I incessantly painted portraits and miniatures. Both of our kids did the usual artistic things in school, but nothing really out of the ordinary. I have the proud parents' normal collection of painted pasta necklaces, handprint turkeys and foam-faced Santa Claus ornaments, of course, but I didn't think either of them would take it to the next level.

Our daughter doesn't like to show anyone her art, and has been hiding most of it from us (this should have been a sign to me; I did the same thing with writing), so we were a bit shocked when we saw the project her 3-D art teacher decided to exhibit during open house. It was definitely not the usual thing. Then the other day on the way home from school, the kid casually takes out of her book bag this ceramic head sculpture of a dismayed old man. Sculpting, of all things -- where the heck did that come from? Well, at least I now know exactly how the old guy feels.

Sometimes I do think I've been through so much that I'm incapable of being surprised, but my kid reminded me that there are still wonders ahead, waiting to be discovered.

Live long enough and you begin to think that you've seen everything. Like a sunset. Happens every day. I photograph them all the time. Growing up in South Florida, I have regularly witnessed dawns and twilights of such vivid, technicolor intensity that nothing surprises me anymore. So when my guy and I took a drive down by the lake on an overcast day, I wasn't expecting to see the sunset in our little corner of the world turn the world into one huge opal.

No huge lesson here, except that while I was photographing the lake everything was so soft and gorgeous that I didn't mind the color the light shed over the water. Or, to be more precise, it was the first time in a couple years I haven't been ticked off at seeing that particular shade of pink.

What's inspired you in your corner of the world this week? Let us know in comments.


  1. Spring peepers.
    After a very long winter, hearing them sing with such enthusiasm in voices that sound like little silver chimes is enough to shake off the long sleep.

  2. On yesterday's walk, we saw the eagle soaring and circling above its nest, which was beautiful, and then we came around a curve and saw a hummingbird hover between two trees, rise up like it was riding an elevator to the top of the tallest, swoop down into bushes between the trees and start hovering in the middle again to repeat the whole process. Over and over. We stood and watched, amazed. You never know what you'll see out there in the world.

  3. It's cherry blossom season here in Vancouver.

    I love walking down the street and seeing all of the beautiful blossoms. It's almost as if I've stepped into an alternate dimension where trees only sprout flower petals. It's gorgeous!

  4. What a wonderful post, Lynn, thank you so much. Recently a bunch of dogwood trees bloomed on campus at the college I's been so beautiful. It's amazing how nature can give you so much inspiration and complacency.


  5. Robins.

    I know that spring is finally arriving when, even if there's a foot of snow left on the ground, there are Robins digging through to get to the newly awakening bugs below.

    And that sunset is just beautiful! I'm glad you took the picture and didn't take the pink personally ;o)


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