R E D

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There are 1,795 species within the genus of the plant family called Begoniaceae (Wikipedia). They are commonly referred to as begonias. The image above is simply one example of this flowering plant.

Colors, shapes, sizes, leaves, buds, flowers, stems make each begonia unique…rather like people. Whether they are native to the soil where they originally thrived or are imported to a local nursery or store, the beauty of these flowers is in the eye of the beholder.

Certainly there are more grand and complex flowers than the begonia, but few genus’ have as many species. And, each species may produce thousands, if not millions, of the same plant type. Yet, each one is totally unique. Again, I am reminded of all the variations within the species of Homo sapiens.

Although red is not my favorite color, I have owned several red vehicles and find red blossoming flowers to be special. Perhaps red colored cars produce a significant contrast against the background of dull pavement and the abundance of white vehicles. And, it may be that when red blossoms are compared to vivid green leaves and stems they stand out so well.

As Mike Savage, a local Kansas City artist states, “Art is simple. You either like it or you don’t”. The same holds true with flowers, trees, birds, music, clothing, buildings, etc. However, there is one thing which should never be placed in the category of being liked or disliked.

People, as in ethnicity, gender and age.

Color, customs, language, tribe, religion, culture or any other differences should not be liked or disliked, but celebrated for their uniqueness. As long humans strive for peaceful co-existence they can all be red for that matter!

East to West

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Tuesday morning, 0730, western Kansas City, cold and overcast.

Stepped outside to leave for business.  The eastern sky startled me. The western sky reassured me.

To see the sun begin to rise in the east and the moon begin to set in the west at the same time is fairly common, but rather special, too. One is so vibrant and the other so soft as it fades away due to the morning’s brilliance.

The cloud dynamic adds a dramatic element to the one, and a firm point of reference to the other…rather like some people do when we encounter them.

Had lunch with a friend of mine today. He is such an encouragement and always looks at each day as simply that…another day. If we screw up, we have another opportunity to do better (assuming we are given the chance). We both have struggled through serious depression about the same number of years and period in time, but he seems to have a firmer grip on what makes one tick and how to respond to the negative thoughts we all succumb to which affects our moods, doubts and self-images. I appreciate him so much.

Just look at the recent tragedies in Vegas and Texas. Talk about warped self-images. How sad for all concerned. In some way, all affected become victims. However, this post isn’t about those terrible incidents. It is more about beauty and awareness and life. It is about overcoming, too. It is meant to encourage instead of discourage. I see flags flying half-mast everywhere and know why, hence, the monologue about recent tragedies. Yet, the flags will fly at full-mast again. So should we after we falter from life’s harsh realities.

I know this statement may seem harsh and even naive to some, but such is not my intent. One never gets over tragedy…one must simply overcome it’s consequences which can be extremely difficult. I have personal experience with this reality. May these photos lift your souls as they did mine when I first witnessed these scenes early this morning.

 

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East to West…emerging to fading…repeating cycle everyday…redemption waiting.

 

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CLOVE

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For some reason that alludes me, I chose to post this marigold again. It was one of several photographs that I included in a post a few blogs ago. However, this time is a bit different as it stands alone. Before, it was one image among several others.

There is something captivating about it. This is not about me…I did not create this beauty, God did. Yet, I feel honored to have been a part of it’s development…to capture it’s image.

I call it Lava because that is what the colors and intensity reminds me of. Do you ever see or hear or smell something from yesteryear that suddenly becomes present in something else? It is a fascinating journey of the senses. As much as we marvel at the things we see, and often hear and read; it is the fragrance of something that really jolts me into remembrance of things gone by.

I can’t really explain it, but maybe it is because we rely so much on our eyesight, words and sounds that odors take a back seat. However, I bet if we were to consult a deaf and blind person, the sense of smell would become paramount. That dynamic happens to me occasionally when I catch a whiff of something that transforms me back to that time and place. Case in point; I gave platelets and red blood cells yesterday and one of the techs stopped by to check on me. She had a fragrance which smelled of cloves. I asked her about it and said it was some sort of Essential Oil product. I told her it reminded me of cloves, and in particular clove chewing gum which was available when I was a child. She thought that strange and I guess she is right, although it was somewhat of a novelty at the time. I don’t think it is available anymore.

Anyway, for a moment I was transformed to my childhood when, on occasion, my dad would allow me to buy a pack of clove gum. I can still taste it.

Spring

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Soon, we will see the vibrant colors of Spring.

Soon, we will smell the fragrance of lilacs and all other blooming flowers.

Soon, we will feel the texture of lush leaves and delicate petals.

Soon, we will witness bees and butterflies pollinating, and birds propagating.

Soon, we will experience the full wonder of this season.

And, if we keep our eyes, ears and noses open to her transforming beauty, Spring offers treasures we cannot make nor buy, but simply enjoy for free.

Spring also offers her greatest gift…Resurrection.

May our hearts be open to all that is Spring.

 

Wreath Squared

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No matter what a wreath symbolizes for you, I have not seen very many which are square and full of unusual flowers and grains as in this beauty. Some very creative person(s) created this for a small boutique store in midtown Kansas City. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to snap a pic with my cell phone.

Generally, we consider wreaths with Christmas, although a few enterprising folk will display all manner of wreaths throughout the year. This particular wreath was presented specifically for this holiday season. It is certainly festive and well done. So, why write about wreaths, and reveal this wreath in particular? Symbolism, as well as beauty and appreciation, for that which we admire (at least I do).

There are many symbolic interpretations for wreaths, but the main idea is that the circular (or square) shape without beginning or end reflects the full circle of life. In Christianity, the wreath was introduced through the Lutheran Church in the 16th Century and was a visual tool to understand the advent and birth of Christ. The evergreen branches are the most common of wreaths at this time of year because they represent life throughout the full year, regardless of how difficult the conditions may be to survive.

I see a bit more when I view a wreath, regardless of its shape, materials or when it is presented. I see beauty and creativity. Over-simplification some may say. Droll say others. But why must a wreath be about a specific occurrence or have a particular look each year? I believe that God created all that is natural and beautiful, including giving mankind the ability to create and enhance beauty. Of course, no one can outdo the Creator, but we can certainly strive to honor Him by imitating His creation. I fully understand that one’s interpretation of beauty is extremely subjective and is a topic I choose not to tackle in this post!

What I believe and what I know are very personal, yet I select what content I wish to share and some which I don’t. Such is my prerogative of creating and supporting this blog. However, let it be known once again that I am blessed to see, touch, hear, and emotionally feel the beauty God has given mankind each and every day I live. I sincerely hope you are given (or make) the opportunity to slow down long enough to experience such sublime beauty this holiday season. Thanks again for visiting and encouraging me. Also, I am grateful for your own unique beauty! Share it…please.