“Why did you do all this for me?' he asked. 'I don't deserve it. I've never done anything for you.' 'You have been my friend,' replied Charlotte. 'That in itself is a tremendous thing.” After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little while, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone's life can stand a little of that.”
~ E.B. White, Charlotte's Web
I feel in every girl there lives a spirit, a wild pixie, that if let go, would run and dance in grassy fields until the end of the world.
And when that girl grows up, that pixie hides, but it's always there, peeking out behind old eyes and reading glasses, laughing, waiting, to one day dance again.
“Life is not measured by the amount of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away”
I would like to share an experience I once had that undoubtedly removed the air from my lungs. A really special friend of mine was in hospital, the status of her ‘condition’ a mystery. I spent some time with her and time always seems to pass really fast when you are with someone who conversation flows easy with. That morning though, little words were available for the verdict that hit me hard when she told me what her condition was. How do you tell someone you care deeply about that you are ‘sorry’ or ‘it’s going to be ok’? How do you make the blow more comfortable especially when the news was broken so suddenly and nonchalantly by the neurosurgeon that did not even have the common courtesy to tell her what the disease was? We sat in the parking lot of the hospital Googling and that’s how we came to know more about it. Her diagnosis shall remain unnamed since much time has passed since this encounter and it no longer matters since she is well.
Once the shock had half subsided, we got to chatting about what a tough year it had been for both her and I over a cappuccino. It wasn’t a miserable conversation; it was one that just came out between two friends who share a mutual trust, a conversation between friends sharing how they really feel. The kind of conversation you feel absolutely safe to talk about.
We went back outside as time drew closer for me to leave and we stood in the sun on what was a rather blustery and chilly day. We continued our conversation in little bits when I spotted a tiny, gorgeous little Wagtail that was clearly familiar with its surroundings while it picked at scraps on the floor. I pointed the bird out to my friend and we stood watching it for a few minutes, both unconsciously smiling silently at how cute and amusing the little bird was. It came really close to us, totally undeterred by our presence. I greeted the little soul who looked up at me, cocked its head looking me square in the eye and replied with a cheerful, diminutive Wagtail tweet. I was completely unprepared for what I saw next which almost brought me to the floor in tears. That very moment right there, in the hospital parking lot, with my friend, was a pinnacle comparative representation of the difficult-to-process morning I had just shared with her.
That little happy, oblivious Wagtail had severely maimed feet. Its right foot was a mere stump and its left foot had only two toes that were grossly disfigured. I had to compose myself fast from what had been the sum total of an emotional day all round. I could not believe what I was seeing and as I stood next to my buddy, the silence between us compelling, revolutionary and enlightening. As we hugged each other goodbye, I whispered to her, “Just goes to show; doesn’t matter how broken you are, you are still beautiful”.
Life sends us little messages of hope all the time...we just have to pay attention to the connections that are a little less obvious at times.
We need to discover the world through the eyes of children; a fascinating playground in which to explore and learn from. Merry-go-rounds that create nausea, swings that go breathtakingly high and devastatingly low, see-saws flipping up and down, slides we climb to the top of only to zoom down with screams of joy, hands in the air sometimes landing on our bums yet leaving us with that feeling of “ Whoa! I wanna do that again!"
Life IS a playground and how we choose to play in it is entirely up to us. We cannot blame anyone for the bumps, falls, scratches and grazes along the way because we still chose to play...no matter how much we enjoyed the ride.
Written 13 March 2013
This photo has a story. It was taken in 2012 and it's compositionally terrible, however it was an awakening time for me, a metaphor for my life at the time as I had opened just like this rose while I felt I was among those who did not understand anything about me or who I really was. I went to find a quiet place to hide and pray. I found the perfect place that was secluded from the noise inside and out of my head. I sat quietly contemplating with myself while I watched the sun make her early morning entrance brilliantly through the dense trees and into my secret hideaway. I closed my eyes and as I began to softly speak, my tears started to roll slowly down my cheeks on impulse. I had never felt more alone as I did right there. I continued to pray quietly, aware of the little world around me waking up; birds greeting the morning with their cheerful songs, bugs buzzing briskly past me, the welcoming earthy smell of the damp ground beneath my feet.
My eyes were still gently closed when a dazzling beam of light that had found an opening through the foliage connected directly with my eyelids. I was suddenly filled with light and I could feel the intensity of its warmth wash through me and all over me. I continued to sit there for a few moments, taking the indescribable moment in for as long as my choked breath could, keeping my eyes shut.
After what felt like an eternity, I opened my eyes and what lay before me is a moment in my time here on earth that I will never ever forget. There were sharp beams of intense sunlight darting through open spaces of flora everywhere. I looked down toward my stomach and there was a single strand of silver spider web gleaming from what the light was picking up which was attached to my naval area that went straight out in front of me, connecting to a tree a short distance from me. Connected to that tree was another web, connecting to another tree, connected to another. Everywhere I looked were glistening spider webs attaching me to everything around me. As if I had weaved my own web while praying for clarity. I was definitely no longer alone. The answer was already there, all I needed to do was open my eyes.
We are all connected, to everything and everyone whether we like it or not. Through those connections to each other, whether long or short term, we will find doorways to secret passageways of our soul that only become apparent if we have the courage to venture down what appears dark and lonely. One must brave the dreadful dark to experience the all-encompassing light.
I am not the same person I was then...I don't think I ever will be.
Clarity is a wonderful thing if you just ask.
Not the perfect picture by a long shot (unprepared drive by shooting of which I could KICK myself for) but the message, as humorous as it is or may be, is as painful to many of us who are forced to turn a blind eye to the reality of what our country is faced with because we simply, as much as we would like to, cannot and most of the time will not help. The beauty in the irony is that he is creative enough to use another form of emotional manipulation in his own sheer desperation. The truth will never really be known because qualified nurses make more money as roadside beggars than they do in a job where the system is grossly failing them.
To have been able to witness and capture this was remarkable. These ants were tearing a spider web apart that was newly constructed right in the pathway of their daily run to and from wherever they go every day. I have never seen anything like it and I was completely captivated. After a few minutes they took a break and this little ant helped the bigger one get web out from between its jaws. I was gobsmacked at how they work together as a team. Incredible little hard working creatures.
Someone stopped alongside me yesterday while I was taking photographs on the roadside and I got a real fright...thought I was going to get hurt or have my camera stolen. Really sad that is but nevertheless it was one of my neighbours who smiled warmly at me and then looked puzzled when he asked me this question, "WHAT are you so fascinated with? I always see you out taking photographs" I started giggling nervously like I do when I'm ambushed in my zone and also out of relief that I was safe and I simply responded "Life...I am fascinated by life" as I smiled back at him thinking to myself "I can't believe he asked me such a stupid question". He looked even more confused and said "But it's just a leaf" and it was right there in that moment that I realised not everybody gets it. What was so obvious to me seemed like a mystery to someone else. Life is not JUST a leaf or JUST a flower or JUST a spider or JUST anything...life and all it has to offer us naturally is a gift we get to unwrap every single day. His last words stuck in my mind as he drove off and I saw the light go on, his eyes twinkling, "We see the big things...it's the small things we don't."
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared; he sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could go no farther.
The man decided to help the butterfly, so he took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch the butterfly because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time.
In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening was necessary to force fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been. And we could never fly.
~ Author Unknown
How I see it...
I see, speak and write in metaphors because I feel there is much we can learn from nature, people and our surroundings as depicted in my photographs and why I enjoy sharing my thoughts. Not in any attempt to convince or convert you to my way of thinking, seeing or feeling but to share how I see and experience MY mind map of the world. You at no time have to agree, all I ask is that my views and the views of others who wish to express theirs are kindly respected. So relax, get comfy and just enjoy. Happy reading!