December Pinks

The pink blooms I never planted
are more beautiful than ever
as I return rejuvenated
to the patio in December.

Autumn has rained
its traditional hues too;
warmth in the setting sun
dries a wet spell of the blues.

I am tickled by the message
of the southern bell for whom it tolls,
waking the possibilities in me
of choosing the way it goes.

I’ll keep growing these pink blooms
even if they get winter-taken,
for I’ve reseeded in my heart
a season of hope to never end.

Lost in the Yard Again

Sunny and 70s this weekend in northwest Florida but with enough seasonal variety to get to experience some autumn colors alongside the re-flowering trees. I meant to go to the ocean but ended up staying in my yard. It’s just so quiet and peaceful here, and that’s really what I needed most this weekend, especially since our house guests are out of town. It’s late Sunday afternoon now; I’m still in my pajamas and still procrastinating starting my schoolwork…. maybe after this blog post on the patio…

I thought I’d let you into my head a bit, since there is never a dull moment there. 🙂 This morning as the sun rose and dried the raindrops from the leaves, I enjoyed some nature photography. In my backyard. 🙂

A friend recently asked what kind of camera I use. Ummmm, an outdated and malfunctioning iPhone (8) and whatever photo editing app it came with. My old Canon is no longer working, though I really do need to try harder to revive it. I’m not one to spend money, and I hate updates and changing what I’m familiar and comfortable with. My daughter has the pro gear (and newer phone), but I’ve yet to borrow or learn it. I have an inherited camera too I’ve been meaning to play with. So me and my on-its-last-leg iPhone out back this morning….

If you know anything about me, you know it would be the wildflowers and white flowers that would call to me the most. From inside, on my way to make morning coffee (after going back to sleep earlier since I woke with a headache), the familiar white wildflowers drew me out. I loved that they were still blooming and wanted to capture them against the autumn-leaves background. There is such pure and soulful beauty I find in white blossoms, so this was my main therapy after my emotionally-turbulent week. Ahhhh…

I find nature the most therapeutic for me when I focus on the details, the tinier the better. I suppose that makes sense. When I’m spiraling out of control from an emotional trigger that trips a mine from my traumatic, buried past, the one who knows me best (I’ve recently caught on to this..) tells me something very specific in our conversation, a unique detail. I tend to focus on it. I tend to forget the rest for a moment or two. It’s a grasp for me, something to hold onto. Sometimes, that’s all that’s needed to stop the free fall. I focus on the folds in petals, the almost-evaporated drops from last night’s (all-too-coincidentally-metaphoric) rain, the tiniest bright stars in the unfurled center. It centers me. Again.

This one entranced me the most, like a beautiful ballet, its story performed without words but deeply felt… 

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Then there’s simply the beauty of autumn’s bright leaves, which I do not take for granted living in the South.

In just about every subject I frame in my lens, I also find a story or lesson. I begin my autumn adventure with the nest in the nook of my eucalyptus tree. This tree is not the mother of these leaves, but then again, home is sometimes found, and families can be made outside of genes, and both of these can save a soul. 

(Here is the eucalyptus’ biological offspring:)img_8132

Next, as tends to happen, I notice and go out of my way to admire and showcase the beauty in the imperfect. I chose this leaf to be the star today.

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I’m sure the ones who were more “whole” and less “marred” were confused. Like with flowers and seashells, I find the most powerfully-moving stories in the subjects that many would overlook or toss back, reject. We are all imperfect, though; we all have our scars, and with each, a very personal story, usually untold. Yet how similar, I’m sure, our hidden fears and pains are. The light seems to find all of us equally though, as a saving, nonjudgmental love.

This leads me also to respect the shadows. This bright red evoked a somber mood. I paused a while to pay homage.

This next green leaf intrigued me so! Among the astonishing inner workings, a very distinct marking gave my imagination the lead in metaphorical hypotheses formation: an internal imaging picture revealing the disease or alien or parasite inside; a tattoo (and what does it symbolize?); a birthmark; a branding; an astrological sign? Victim, chosen savior, scarred warrior? Its emblem is seared into my mind’s eye. 

Nearby, another attention capturer, the decay in such stark contrast to the green stem. A charred lung having always been fed plenty of oxygen. Self-asphyxiation? Leaving or returning to life? Maybe the later stages of the disease above? Open back up the valve to your heart! Choose to receive the love! (I told you there’s never a dull moment in my mind…) 

In this next one, I find the bittersweet. The sun’s rays have found this one and are comfortingly drying the pool of tears. Such a tender and touching healing story, especially since the leaf has detached from its life source. Perhaps the rays are the forgiveness before death, all amends made before the soul leaves the body to be lifted. Is there anything left unspoken in your own heart today?… 

Don’t worry, I’ve saved the most lighthearted for last! 🙂 Here we have the strawberry or the rose (shhhh…don’t let it hear you say its a leaf!). We can really be whatever we choose to be, can we not? This one made me smile. Now I could manipulate the leaves to create such a capture, but when I find it naturally so, it makes it so much better. 

And there you have it: a glimpse of what it’s like to be in Laura’s head when far away in the nearness of nature. I’d like to stay lost forever. I don’t think I’d miss the world. Wherever I go though, I promise to always send you rays of light, reflected with my lenses. ❤ 

Every Season Sought

Hold me tender,
the only one I seek:
temporary tear breach.

Dam the rest
as your love ripples,
fills again those crevices,
archaic, getting old.

I long for those fissures
to grave-grow cold.

Your weathered browns
still warm my soul.

(No sadness today, just recalling those times in each season when I needed most, and you drew me near to remind me of the greatest, purest truth I know. ❤️)

Poem and image ©LauraDenise

Out of Season

Determined to counter the moody clouds
others have been attempting to cast onto me,
I choose to seek out the sun, spring-infuse myself,
dip my soul into the fresh-blooming green,

breathe in the revitalizing April air,
let the warming rays seep in through my pores,
absorbed more in the whole of the reborn panorama than
focused on the details imploring to be explored, 

labrador-blue heeler happy for any outdoor adventure, 
not a hike but a mutually restorative leisurely linger, 
ahhh…a new season…

Circling back to the start, back to the car, 
I am not allowed to leave, it seems, 
until Mother Nature imparts
a lesson, whispers words of wisdom 
through some not-new, refusing-to-be-forgotten
leaves from two seasons ago, 
still here, and starkly so, 
weathered, fossilized autumn,

a reminder of the past
not so easily dismissed;
buried or not, it insists
on revisits,
coming to you
if you neglect it, 
but what we make
of what is, 
that is the endless work
or blessing
depending on the nature
of what was–
bright, shiny yellow
of yesterday
against the conglomerate
of rocks, man-manipulated
into asphalt,
a yellow sickness
or stubborn
fading sun,
either way the marring,
tattered edges and holes,
do not seem to take the whole,
still here despite the winter
with a fortitude to witness,
to reunite with the green 
it was itself once.

I see a reminder that
we can turn
our back on the past
and run to spring,
but all seasons remain, 
never really leave,
inside us always
are the memories,
tears of joy and loss,
the scars of life;
we can embrace it all, 
co-exist in peace
with all that is inside. 

I choose to find 
the positive,
even in the stumbling 
upon the past
in my determined
celebration of the
present moments,
all presents indeed,
and then I find a smile
in the concrete
when I see
yet another unexpected
chapter of a
love story,
so pure and yet to be
complete…

I wonder what those
resigned to defeat see.
Perception can sting
regardless, some things
we simply must feel
but perspective…
that is the key
in our control
and possession,
a powerful tool we
can self-weld and
self-wield,
manipulate,
to preserve
our internal
peace.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

January Fire

Winter in the South means a mix of seasons but the absence of snow. My soul needs the snow though. Still, I find much beauty in the messages and stories that appear in my lens. There is always a story in my lens.

I have been admiring the stubbornness of Autumn. Colors still ablaze that arrived in standardized winter months hold fast, refuse to let go. Soon it will be spring here. How long can Autumn hold on? Will she co-exist with Spring next? As much as I admire her, part of me wants to console her, let her know that it will be okay to relax her grip, to let change occur. I have known such resistance, such unsettling feelings, such pre-nostalgia, such fear.

I am not a fan of change, which surprises even me given my fiery resistance to conformity. Part of me admires the fiery leaf refusing to be classified into a season, to be confined to certain months. Part of me sees a sadness though too, especially paired with the fiery setting sun, similarly seeming to stall in its descent, wanting to stay just a bit longer.

Autumn clings
defiant
or weeping;
its leaves
like the setting sun
seem to desperately
hold on.

A Heart Out of Hibernation

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Cryogenically-preserved heart
guarded with blades of ice,
lying low, preferring alone,
but the romantic dreams
so carefully preserved inside.

Not deliberately hiding
and you were not looking,
but the gods in mixing the seasons
led you to find me.

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I was faded
in protective hibernation,
but your love 
warmed me like morning sun.

Your heart
brought mine
to life,
blew gently
to spark my inner fire;

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the colors
that resided down deep
saturated
my desire
with you 

to be me.

img_6063Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Weekend Renewal

Autumn in the South:
no warm-hued foliage
yet to be found.
Faithful leaves adhere
to branches,
stubborn, taunting
the November ground.

Windows open though,
temperatures temperate,
and the fresh air I breathe in
could not be more perfect.

Saturday morning well spent
reading, writing, creating
with and at ease,
puppy napping beside me
so contentedly,

instrumental music
scooping up silence
in a loving dance,
floating in a reverie
of me-time peace,
I sip my tea
and let the cross-breeze
permeate through
my soul’s expanse…