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Flowers Love and Re-incarnation

We are in early summer or Beltane, the mid-morning of the Pagan wheel of the year and the re-incarnation of plant, animal and human life is all around us. Beltane or early summer commences on the last day of April and runs through to Midsummer (noon) on June 21/22nd. If you want to learn more about Paganism, which is an umbrella term for the ancient religions of the world, including those of the North American Indian, you could do much worse than order a copy of "Paganism" an excellent handbook by Vivianne Crowley - However, this short summary of Paganism by  "Pagan Awareness" should give you a general background and if your appetite is whetted after reading it, then go to: and get a copy. I note that amazon is doing used versions for as little as £1-80p (around a dollar) It is a beautifully written little book and really well illustrated.
Small-Game Hunting in the Grove
Surprise surprise, Sunday morning was filled with soft sunlight and I decided to grab my camera and go 'small game hunting' amongst the garden flowers. My first capture was a bee who promptly stuffed his head right inside the cup-shaped head of a Mimosa flower.
The Mimosa Flower
"The Mimosa is a name for about 400 species of plant that includes the Venus Fly Trap and can be found in many parts of Bengal, where it is known as lajjabati (literally a shy female) In Russia, Italy and other countries it is customary to present women with yellow mimosas (among other flowers) on International Women's Day (March 8)." Wikipedia.
There do seem to be less bees around than last year, but this one (happily for me) seemed to have no table manners and stayed in position grove header for flowers post 300pixgulping away for at least a minute, which have me ample time to capture him. I was so pleased with the shot that I've made it my Summer Grove header - It's my first attempt at a header and the clock gets in the way a bit, but click on the small version to the right and go to the Grove home page to see the full effect.
The way I approach my small-game stalking is to see which flower, bush or shrub seems to be the most popular and position myself comfortably near, with my camera zoomed and focussed on a bloom or cluster which looks good on my LCD screen and then wait patiently until my prey alights on it. I chose a rather attractive cluster of a wild flower called 'Honesty' - very popular in Victorian times and waited for a harvesting bee. (and waited)
almanack fly for flowers post 350pix I was just about to give up and go indoors for a cup of tea, when a small fly decided it would be nice to have it's photograph taken and landed 'just right' - I didn't need to move at all, I just pressed the shutter and there it was, my Summer Almanack header -            (click on the small example above to go to the Almanack)      
bumble-bee-and-periwinkleI then moved on to my current garden favourite the 'Periwinkle'.   The centre of the flower has a perfect pentagonal shape, but also the five petaled construction of the bloom, slightly offset to the centre, also resembles a pentagon, especially if you imagine a line drawn around the entire flower, petal to petal. This time, no bees turned up and so I've re-published a picture I took last year, when the garden seemed to be always full of bees. Go to Wikipedia to read more about Periwinkles.

Bluebells are my favourite wild flower, perhaps because I have happy childhood memories of my mother and father and myself, picking armfuls of the beautiful long-stalked blooms and taking them home to Riverside House where we lived near the boathouse. Although I find cut flowers a bit sad in that they are razored from the  life force that has formed and sustained them, my parents couldn't afford to buy flowers and so the sight of the whole house filled with clusters of bluebells was a treat for all of us. One cluster of bluebells particularly attracted me and Liz reminded me that my son had picked them over thirty years ago, when he was a little boy and she had planted them in the garden. There they were, a natural example of re-incarnation - just right for the "Flowers and Scorpions" header above. Go to Wikipedia to read more about this beautiful flower.
My son visits...
One of the downsides of a touring theatrical life, is that it can wreak devastation on any chance of a family life.  When my son was around 11yrs old, he turned to me during one of my one-day weekend visits and asked me to stay with him all the time. I tried to explain to him that it was part of my working life and that if I gave up my work to be with him, I would not be able to earn enough to keep us going and that I would have to give up theatre work and return to teaching.My decision to continue with choreography and performance was something that has shaped us both over the last 29yrs - no matter how I phrased my answer to my only son, it was clear that 'the theatre' had won.
Although I think I can see the 'big picture' it is also clear to me that the old adage "what you sow, so shall you reap" is simple and accurate. My son has become a busy architect and family man and quite often I ache to see him, but his Sundays are full of taking care of his family and I am most times, just too far away to get to him or my two grandchildren. I was therefore rather excited when Liz my ex-wife said that he had rung and was popping over to see us for a couple of hours, before we set off for Durham....
henry and elizabeth taken by andrew...I was just transferring the shots onto my computer and I had managed to upload the first header "The Grove" when he turned up. He was impressed with my shots and took over my laptop to download a whole series of pic's of his family. I am still amazed that Liz and I are grandparents twice over and we had a great time looking at them. I felt rather like the 30 yr old bluebells; I could see myself in my son's gestures and mannerisms and I could also see the eternal part of myself within my two grandsons.
Liz and I were due to leave for Durham and my son also had to meet up with his family, so after a really enjoyable couple of hours, he set off in the car....only to return five minutes later to take a photograph of us both, which he later sent to me with the caption "Happy People".
All I can say is that we were looking at the reason for our happiness.
(please note that most photographs and red lettering are active links - click and go. :) 
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Tamera said... 11 May 2008 at 15:27

What a lovely picture of "happy people", and a lovely post to boot. Spring is just so fantastically alive, and a Pagan knows how to appreciate its yearly 'coming into being'.

Anji said... 16 May 2008 at 07:33

I agree with Tamera, it is a lovely picture. It's lovely to see the insects on the flowers. I've noticed there are fewer bees too. How are you off for butterflies this year?

I've started to explore your site more; it's a bit like the tardis - it seems to expand out in so many ways!

soulMerlin said... 16 May 2008 at 17:57

Hi Anji ~ no butterflies yet (I hadn't noticed!!!) Something is changing - I'll ask Liz tonight, she's very wise in country matters.

Thank you for your 'Tardis' comment. That's exactly what I Alice going down a rabbit-hole or through a mirror and ending in a magic world.

I'll be catching up on Laura and postcards over the weekend.


RainforestRobin said... 21 May 2008 at 17:26

Oh! What a poignant story. I fell in love the human spirit reading this story. I was touched the way your son turned around just to take the photo. He loves you. Life and love are such amazing things. That you all touched in that moment and were all joined and connected and family moved me to tears.

I also love the photos, wonderful photos. And you tale of how you took them is so YOU and such beautiful and intimate writing. It leaves the reader feeling like the were there with you.

Wonderful and endearing...and enduring sentiments. Thank you. (h)enry. :)

Lilly's Life said... 16 June 2008 at 04:30

That is indeed a lovely picture - and I love your line about looking at the reason for your happiness too! I am fascinated with bees moreso because I am allergic to them then anything else. Your photos and writing are excellent.

Theresa H. Hall said... 19 June 2008 at 05:08

Wonderful photograph!

Item Reviewed: Flowers Love and Re-incarnation Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Henry Metcalfe
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