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. ūüôā This morning as the sun rose and dried the raindrops from the leaves, I enjoyed some nature photography. In my backyard. ūüôā

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 Ummmm, an outdated and malfunctioning iPhone (8) and whatever photo editing app it came with.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! ūüôā 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. ‚̧ 

Drops of Fuchsia

A sojourn among the wildflowers
is what my soul needs
in regular doses,
down low 
among the “weeds”

where time does not stand still,
but the world does,
for nothing exists in the moment
except for us, 

and no greater beauty 
can there be
than in the nonmanhandled,
outside-the-garden-lines seed
that blooms so gracefully,
silently defying, 
yet exuding pure peace;

that peace
transfers into my essence
as I listen with my soul
to the whispered sapience, 

no lesson or story 
captivates my interest
more than what the petals transmit,

and to think how often it goes unnoticed ‚Äď
underfoot, sole-crushed, disregarded ‚Äď
the natural therapy for inner balance.

If you happen to have the interest, 
I’ll share with you what was imparted¬†
on this Tuesday morning in my own backyard
during my daily sojourn 

among the wildflowers….¬†

I wish to simply be
the color in your gray,
to open your heart to seeing
every season has new days,
and there always exists
little blessings sent 
personally your way…¬†

We all at times lose focus
as the world becomes tear-blurred;
that’s why we were given each other
to lean on, lend strength, stay near.

When we get closer
through the growing trust,
we become less guarded
and show the rest of us,


the complexities, 
the other ways through 
the protective shield,
the scars, the webs, the truths,

and we find,
though all unique,
we are the same
in our sufferings,

made so we
take turns with it,
return to the circle 
of falls and lifts
.

I am here
to share my hues,
overflowing now,
but once like you
.

And when you come
into fuller bloom,
pay it forward
so others may too
become imbued.

Poem and this morning’s backyard photography ¬©LauraDenise

Wind and Wings

I will bend to please,
for I put first others’ needs;
overempathy makes me weak.

Forceful winds,
whether intended or not,
push with invisible pressure 
until my insides knot. 

In opposite direction
of secret desires,
the flight I am put on
with unpurchased ticket
takes me higher

but farther
on false wings
to where I wished to be;
nonetheless, I relentlessly
look for the positives 
in my surroundings. 

Rock, boulder, 
my anchor,
my center,
is never stationary.
I move the mountains
with the strength
of your arms 
and my unshakable faith
in the Almighty. 

Bent tree. 
Flight path. 
Criss-crossing trajectories.
I will bend back.
I will disembark. 
And wherever that leaves me, 
I will find where 
the wildflowers are. 
And if you pluck them all, 
I will water the seeds
in my heart. 

I will persevere as me,
no matter how many rounds
I smartly, politely, or wearily
concede. 
Each of those fertilize 
bloom potentiality. 

I will grow my own
wildflower fields
until they rise
out of me. 

The Language of Wildflowers

I have always been drawn to intimacy,
that of the petal, the shell, the bee. 
Grand, sweeping panoramic views
have trouble impressing me. 
Everyone else lines up though to see,
so I release the guilt to the benevolent breeze
while I sneak away from my party
after posing in their pictures
to get low upon the mountain surface
to hear the gentle, pink, silky whispers.

My first two vacation poems of the same subject,
the world-renowned postcard as a blurred backdrop.
You can take a body to a different location,
but you cannot take control of a soul’s vocation,
especially when it is spiritually connected
more so to the underfoot details overlooked and neglected. 

The stories of nature that fit in the palm of my hand
speak to me more profoundly than the grandest canyon. 
I have never been one to follow the crowds. 
The bold mountaintop bloom whispers another route. 

I cannot take it now: my father is guiding this tour. 
But I will never forget the brief shared encounter

with the single wildflower

that found me in the clouds
and allowed me to recenter myself. 

Mountaintop Beauty

I hiked to 8,000 feet above the level of the sea
only to confirm my reputation of being a freak, 
for at a summit with world-famous views, 
I am the only one mesmerized stooped, 

having spotted the little bloom…

I feel the familiar flutter in my soul. 
My heart flies home. 

More minuscule than ever, 
the wildflower reminds me
of the mountains I have moved
to get here, to these
identity truths. 

And I remain committed and proud
to be the freak they deem me as, 
the one with eyes turned
in the other direction 
still following maps
to the treasure
that I am. 

Of Wildflowers

In the texture of petals,
in the lifelines and veins,
I silently read the private stories
in the evaporating, evanescent after-rain. 

In the ones with the audacity 
to rise and bloom where they please, 
defying borders and surviving pesticides, 
I feel myself for the first time breathe. 

In the tiniest, overlooked complexities, 
I scrutinize worlds within,
chosen and privy to the revealing
of the fantastical magic kingdoms.

In the golden-light when the first or last rays
highlight the most delicate paired buds
in their mutual vulnerable opening,
I feel the blessing from the heavens
upon the greatest of humble love
stories unfolding.

In the darkest of thickets, surrounded by thorns,
I witness the miracles of mysticism
when the beacon checks in on the meekest first
faithfully after every storm.

Walk the manmade paths
through the planted gardens:
I will always be watching my step,
one with them, in
the uncharted, shifting lands
of wildflowers.

Poem and images ©LauraDenise

Crowning

My fascination,
favorite attraction, 
purest joy
photographing nature,

is finding the meek
among the mundane
and crowning
with due recognition
the beauty beyond fit
for the stage;

sort of like lemonade
from life’s lemons, 
I like to look
at it all through 
the light in my lenses.

The less obvious,
the underfoot trodden,
I refract the rays
to highlight
the forgotten,

and so it goes
as a life lesson:
beauty exists
all around us,

the purest gems
right beside us,
all perfect as is
before the bruiting,
for we are all precious
within.