I pulled this gallery together with photographs that engender a spirit of hope, renewal and new beginnings.
La Fete de Muguet (more commonly known as May Day) in Paris, brings with it an abundance of Lilies of the Valley(Muguets) sprigs, flower-pots and bouquets. Whether on display at ‘la fleuriste’ at Place Wagram, on a lover’s lapel, or as simple adornments on a cafe table, they speak to me of hope and renewal. Upon getting a whiff of the unmistakably sweet aroma I’m transported back to the days when my father and I would trapse amidst the lilies growing wildly on the eastern facing side of our house, a Spring renewal tradition .
Imperial Interloper stands fearlessly guarding ‘her’ water fountain, shouting to all who might trespass for a sip, that she has taken the prize by force. You’d be advised to seek renewal elsewhere.
I have a few very special Phaelenopsis Orchids, this one among them. Year after year, it shares with me its profuse and spectacular blooms for weeks and months, before each blossom eventually lives out its purpose and silently drops off. Dormancy, if one is patient enough to wait, culminates in new vibrant life springing forth, almost without introduction. This self-renewal is ensured and strengthened by long months of drought and forced sleep . then all of a sudden, as if my magic, new blooms return.
The next two photographs were taken at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paultz, New York. the Mosaic Garden is preparing to furnish all onlookers with sequenced segments and patches of color. With each season the palette changes with the new plants coming into bloom as the earlier plants are finishing their cycle: Renewal on Mother Nature’s schedule. The second Mohonk photo was taken from beneath the sheltering, arching branches of the Ethereal Arbor, appearing to lead the traveler through the structured tunnel, into what appears to be heavenly light – perhaps the way an artist might portray a portal to eternal renewal.
Nothing speaks of renewal more than the nurturing guidance of a Mama Giraffe Tending to her Young. I have always loved this simple wooden sculpture (purchased at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in WDW) which immediately transports me to a place of calm.
The pure beauty of A New Day Dawns; as sunlight filters through the misty morning air, casting lovely shadows and highlights on the flowers of our upstairs deck, I feel a renewed sense of hope: new opportunities and precious moments await.
In Duck-prints on Lagoon Beach, I ponder the freshly forged footsteps of a morning flock of ducks, breaking the mechanical symmetry of the newly raked sand; and the optical illusion provided by Charleston Shadows cast on a waterfront pier in Charleston, wherein one might think it is a path to the future, and I realize that signs of renewal are everywhere.
I close this gallery with a reminder of the havoc caused by Hurricane Sandy. Even when viewed from the vantage point of tall, historic trees laying lifeless on the ground, having been brought down by wind and rain and soggy soil; even then one can see the clearing blue sky and still-standing trees reaching to heaven, casting their magnificent shadows on the earth beneath. One is reminded that there is a balance in nature. Despite the darkness and fear of the night before, the morning returns anew, seemingly with greater clarity than ever before. Renewal, rebuilding though challenging, often heartbreaking and always difficult, is emergent in The Morning After and through it, man’s humanity towards his fellow man is on display in the least expected places.