“If a little flower could speak…”

The celosia, which loves the sun, brightens my patio and home.

The celosia, which loves the sun, brightens my patio and home.

I frequently look for quotes to accompany my photographs. Tonight, while searching for quotes about flowers, I was stopped by the power in St. Therese of Lisieux’s words, which caused me to consider my own words and actions.

How often do we deny our God-given talents and gifts under the guise of humility? Why do we diminish or belittle ourselves? Is it because we hope that someone else will compliment us, build us up, and tell us that we are worthwhile?

When we do this, are we saying that God has not blessed us with skills and talents? Or worse, are we saying that we do not accept His gifts and that we do not wish to develop our talents? Or could it be that we simply feel that we are not good enough?

I think that I could learn a lesson from a little flower…and from all of God’s nature. Read St. Therese’s words. What do you think?

“If a little flower could speak, it seems to me that it would tell us quite simply all that God has done for it, without hiding any of its gifts. It would not, under the pretext of humility, say that it was not pretty, or that it had not a sweet scent, that the sun had withered its petals,or the storm bruised its stem, if it knew that such were not the case.”

St. Thérèse de Lisieux, Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux

I need flowers in my life.

I’m a country girl in a big city. Last week, I moved into a small suburban patio home; it’s a sweet little place, just the right size for my cocker spaniel and me. It has a patio and a back yard with desert landscaping, which means rock and dirt, punctuated by a cactus, a mesquite tree, and an acacia tree. The Midwest country girl in me needs green grass and flowers. There’s not a chance of growing grass or planting flowers in this place because the ground is as hard as concrete, but that doesn’t mean I cannot have beauty in my back yard.

IMG_6350I’m still stumbling over the chaotic mess of opened boxes, but I had to stop in order to add some natural beauty to my space. Although I cannot plant a garden or even put in a flower bed, I can plant POTS of FLOWERS! Strong flowers that can hold up to the Arizona blazing sun! Vinca is just perfect.

Sunday Post: Attraction

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Prickly Pear Cactus

It’s always fun to respond to Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post. Click on this link to see the many creative responses to his challenge to represent the idea of attraction.

We are attracted to many things. Google quotes about attraction and you will find the overwhelming majority refer to that mysterious magnetic relationship between two people. But aren’t we also attracted to our child’s giggle, our grandmother’s biscuits, our best friend’s laugh, our dog’s antics? What about the brilliant sunset or the crash of ocean waves or the piece of rich dark chocolate?

I am, of course, attracted to certain people, but nature captures my attention as well. I am attracted to flowers, especially yellow flowers, and I was rewarded with these beauties which I found today at the Desert Botanical Gardens, which is a Tourist Attraction.

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Prickly Pear Cactus

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Prickly Pear Cactus

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Columbine

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Palo Verde Tree

Sunday Post: Unforgettable

DSC_0122Unforgettable? I’m 62 years old, and I have a lifetime of unforgettable moments; I had not truly appreciated that fact until I started to look for images to post for Jakes’s Sunday Post.

I now realize that I am blessed to have had far too may unforgettable moments to post on this blog.

Unforgettable: the first time I opened the blanket to touch Baby Elle’s little toes three years ago. (“Image by Mona” … nope my son/her daddy took this shot.)

Unforgettable: All of the incredible moments I am fortunate enough to spend with her as she grows into a remarkable little girl.

Unforgettable: If you’ve followed my blog for any time at all, you know that I spent the past two summers working and playing in China, part of it trekking about by myself. The first summer, when I was 60, I took a night-train from Shanghai to Beijing alone and toured the major sites with an English-speaking tour group. The second summer, I spent a week alone in Shanghai. This might not be that remarkable to those of you who are seasoned travelers, but it is quite UNFORGETTABLE and remarkable for me because this was my first time out of the United States.

Unforgettable: An invitation to dinner in a private home in Feicheng, Shandong Province, China. What’s even better is that we were allowed to “help” in making the dumplings.

New to Word press? Whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you’re invited to get involved in my Weekly Competition to help you meet your blogging goals and give you another way to take part in 2013 Lucky Snake Event. (It’s the Year of the Snake!) Everyone is welcome to participate, if your blog is about photography,Video, Graphic Artwork Or Writing.

1. Each week, Jake provides a theme for creative inspiration. Show the world based on your interpretation what you have in mind for the theme, and post them on your blog anytime before the following Sunday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. Subscribe to jakesprinter so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS. GET THE BADGE FOR YOUR IMAGE WIDGET….

 

Make sure to have the image link to http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/ so that others can learn about the challenge, too.

Posted in: Sunday Post

Strength in Fragile Beauty

Geranium Blossom: 1/6400 sec at f/5.0, 105 mm, ISO 200

Geranium Blossom: 1/6400 sec at f/5.0, 105 mm, ISO 200

I was dog-tired (Where did that expression come from? My little Sophie sleeps all day. How on earth could she possibly be tired?) … I digress … I was beat, dragging myself in the door a few hours ago; I vowed to eat a small bite, walk Sophie, and go to bed early … I mean before 8 PM and get up at 4 AM to grade the pile of papers in my bag.

I set the timer, allowing myself 20 minutes to respond to and comment on my favorite blogs. That was 1 1/2 hours ago. Just as when I reach for “just one more and that’s all” piece of the scrumptious Ferrero Rocher chocolates or “just one more and I’m hiding the box” of the incredible chocolate covered delights in the big red tin from Costco, I have read “just one more” blog — at least 20 of them because they are so inviting, and I’ve edited and uploaded “just one more” image — quite of few of them.

And now, just one post and that’s all:

As I indulged in coffee and quiet time on my patio this past weekend, I noticed the morning sun streaming through a fallen geranium blossom. The image speaks of isolation, but not loneliness. Although a fragile, whisper-thin bloom about to die, it is beautiful and strong in the sunlight.

We can be like this. Isolated, but not completely alone. (See the small impression of another blossom in the foreground?) We can be fragile, yet strong, because we gain strength through the gentle light of our God, through the quiet of prayer and meditation, through the warmth of our friends (those we see and speak to face-to-face or those we speak to through the Internet), and possibly through our work, whether it is a job, a career, or a passion.