Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Floating in Late May Stillness

There just had to be a water lily or lotus here this morning, for the first yellow water lilies (spatterdock) of the season are starting to bloom, and that means summer is here. Plans are afoot (or aboot) to spend some happy time this summer, prowling hidden ponds and fens in the Lanark Highlands with a whopper of a telephoto lens mounted on the camera.

The wildflowers of northern springtime passed their time of blooming some time ago. Bloodroot, violets, trilliums and hepatica were captured for electronic posterity this year, but they will be only a poignant memory until the next springtime rolls around. We find ourselves in the time of columbines, wild orchids and water bloomers now, and that is just fine by me. All is well in what I call "the Great Round".

My wise and beautiful grandmother had a favorite wisdom tale or parable for my tadpole self. A teacher for many years, she liked to use the water lilies in the pond on her farm as a teaching motif because she knew I loved them. "We cannot choose where we are put down here on earth," she would say, "but like the water lilies, we can make a good, honest, happy and useful life for ourselves wherever we land up. All we have to do is embrace our time and place, just be ourselves, be kind to other beings and get on with things - we can bloom right wherever we are planted." She made it sound so easy, and sometimes it is.

The roots/origins of the water lily or lotus are way down in the mud, the muck, the slime and the pollution. It sends its fragile fronds spiraling up through the purifying (although one can no longer be sure of the purity) element of water and emerges on the surface to float effortlessly and bloom so gloriously that there are no words for the breathtaking shape, color, luminescence and indescribable perfume. The blooms glow like lanterns or beacons, even in deepest twilight.

The fluid wonder of the lotus is a perfect metaphor for our earthly journey, and for the long meandering voyage toward enlightenment, wisdom or simple knowing which we are all on together. Grandmother's saying "that one may bloom right where she is planted", has been in use in our tribe for as long as I can remember, and one of these days, I shall put it on a T-shirt - after all these years, I still need a reminder now and again. I nourish fond hopes of being like Gran, but I am not sure I shall ever get there.

7 comments:

Delphyne said...

What a beautiful picture, Kate. So serene.

the wild magnolia said...

"The blooms glow like lanterns"...I love the very thought of lanterns. Don't know why, I just do.

Wonderful post on the lotus life.

Great photo.

I'm blooming here, you are blooming there.

Happy, happy! Huggies! magnolia

Tabor said...

Happy to be here...as I always am.

liliannattel said...

I see the resemblance between you and you gran.

Catching The Thread said...

Cate, your photo is so beautiful.

Thank you for sharing the life of a photographer. I had no idea how complicated it is. The most has to do with timing and knowledge about your subject or how else would you know when and the right time to photograph your it.

I loved the quote from your grandmother, ""We cannot choose where we are put down here on earth," she would say, "but like the water lilies, we can make a good, honest, happy and useful life for ourselves wherever we land up. All we have to do is embrace our time and place, just be ourselves, be kind to other beings and get on with things - we can bloom right wherever we are planted." So much wisdom - a true seer.

Shelley said...

I love this photo and hope that waterlilies will call your grandmother's wisdom to mind when next I see them.

I am glad for your recent "visit" over to But wait, There's More!, and hope that it means your health is on an upswing...

One Woman's Journey said...

Thank you for your grandmother's wise and beautiful words.
This early evening they are like a healing balm....