Jewels of Nature

Jewels of Nature

I love jewels. Not jewels of luxurious and wealthy means, rather the magnificence presented in tiny morsels each morning in simplistic excellence and elegance. Nature’s jewels exist for me as they appear in a raindrop, a perfectly shaped bud of a flower, a molded stone discovered in a riverbed or an iridescent shell plucked from the seashore.

Adorning myself with the inspiration of nature on a daily basis brings me closer to answers I seek. My thoughts arrange themselves in a pattern of words, formed by simply gazing deeply into the heart of each stunning treasure, by connecting to each unique design of powerful creation.

And so, each day I wake and explore a kingdom of unimaginable and glorious riches as I behold diamonds glistening on the surface of the water and emerald blades of grass clothed with fringes of iridescent baubles on their surface.

Wrapped luxuriantly in the chiffon of wispy clouds, as the spotlight of dawn showcases the earth’s museum of artistic treasures, I am grateful to visit without an admission fee once again.

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Tree of Hopefulness – Stuck in Observation Mode

Tree of Hopefulness – Stuck in Observation Mode

“Idealism is a seed of naïveté once planted in a youthful heart that grew into a tree of hopefulness.” – Erika K Rothwell

It’s Monday again. Yes I am moving forward with hope. Yet, my mind stays persistently intertwined with the past. Stuck in an observation mode, I cling to new ideas as if a collection of fine jewelry meant to be coveted rather than worn.

The day seems too simple to be adorned in bright shiny new ideas. So, reflection pulls me deeper into acceptance of my inability to complete any one of my projects in progress and I find an odd sense of comfort in stagnation.

I turn my attention to the view outside my window where the bird couple has landed on the tree branch. I am reminded, once again, of the fleeting moments that pass by my eyes of observation, pleading to be captured in words. However, with the best plan in place, the hours still burn up in the heat of day, and I am left with ashes of intent.

I reread my words of the past, rediscovered today, in a note written to myself months ago. “Idealism is a seed of naïveté once planted in a youthful heart that grew into a tree of hopefulness.” My daydream is insistent and alive, albeit buried beneath the surface of deeply packed minutia.

A state of reflection along with my strange preoccupation with fantastical imagery, draws me into a centrifuge of swirling thoughts, finding myself unable to categorize or prioritize.

And as the birds fly away, I am left only with the “tree of hopefulness” and a reminder to persevere…

Idealism is flourishing.

© Erika K Rothwell

Photo by Erika K Rothwell

Read by Erika K Rothwell
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Hope – A Profound Purpose – Day 17

Hope – A Profound Purpose – Day 17

After calling out some obstacles along my way, the path has been cleared for a greater purpose. 

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

-Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi

Perhaps there is a reason I have so many of my inspirational thoughts in the kitchen.  I don’t always enjoy cooking.  The question, “What’s for dinner?” still continues to give me a small amount of anxiety.  However, I began to appreciate the art of cooking and all the special ingredients discovered in family gatherings around the kitchen table. Precious moments were also found in this simple service to my hungry family as a perfect time to process the evocative happenings of the day.

When I moved my writing from the kitchen to a desk, I believe I brought the spirit of the kitchen with me.  My intention for beginning this blog was to share with my children and their children small, yet significant, lessons that I’ve learned throughout my life.  Overcoming apprehension as I shared my writing publically awakened a greater purpose.

Helping others, while following a path I felt guided to pursue, became my deeper hope.  And this hope continues to shape my writing style and voice.

I believe writing is similar to photography as writers share their unique perspective, presenting a view from a subjective angle.  My passion for writing appears to match my photography style as I love focusing in on a world that exists right in front of us, yet can still appear hidden.  The intensity of some of the images I’ve seen while following WordPress and Instagram photographers have been mind-expanding.  

So many artists serve others with their inspiring work, fulfilling a passion, being driven to create.  I am one of those “others”.  It is with great admiration and recognition of their work that I summarize…when we follow our dreams and passions, we lose ourselves in the work of serving.  And, what we find sometimes is the best gift of all.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Fake Flowers – Search for Petals of Authenticity

Fake Flowers – Search for Petals of Authenticity

Captured by compelling visual subjects, I often instinctively reach for my camera.  This particular visual delight was a bouquet of hot pink lilies surrounded by periwinkle blue delphinium stems artistically arranged in a clear glass vase, a focal point on an entry table in an office building.

As I centered my phone camera on the colorful display in awe of the intense color fusion, I recognized my error.  Believing in the authenticity of this arrangement, my mind’s eye was fooled, and I found myself duped by a lifelike impression.  After seeing the humor in the situation, I quickly switched to a deep reflection followed by questions.

I’m on a search for authenticity.

Is there anyone else who ever finds themselves fooled by fake impressions?  

From a distance an arrangement may appear real; but upon closer examination, we may find it lacks authenticity.  Our world is filled with simulated and seemingly flawless representations of natural elements with the intent to enhance our environments, and yet all they do is detract from our overall sensory experience.

As nature’s images entice me, I find hidden beauty when I move in closer, as close as my camera will allow, to clearly focus on a micro-view of life that remains unobserved by the naked eye.  These unrevealed authenticities are unknowingly passed by every day as we may find ourselves distracted by “life-like” illusions displayed in counterfeit settings. 

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And now I go deeper, the petals unfolding…How much does my own life reflect this phenomenon?  How authentic am I? 

How much better would it be to reveal my natural self in my interactions rather than staying stuck sharing a generic impression, like fake flowers, a dust-collecting replica of who I only wish to be, devoid of flaws and authenticity, a life-like fantasy?

As an exercise, I opened up to a trusted confidante and shared an error in judgment, a perceived flaw in my character.  I wanted to bloom, allow myself to be vulnerable with the admission, and walk away feeling whole rather than unclothed.   Although it wasn’t comfortable for me, baring my truth encouraged deeper personal inspection and a revelation.

Watching my words wisely in self-protective conversations, I may be giving the impression of confidence in my self-assured aspirations; but, I may also be lacking authenticity by omitting the finer details of a messy aging process.  Within the constraints of self-imposed societal expectations, I am clearly missing opportunities to expose the authentic me.

Because impressions are perceived by the eye of the beholder, I recognize that I cannot impress everyone, just as I cannot always make a good first impression or a lasting impression. 

What I can do is slowly allow my petals of authenticity to curl open and welcome closer examination, as I embrace each new step forward, on the path of discovery.  I invite you closer, through my work today.

-Erika K Rothwell

Please read my simultaneous post, an expose’, “The Beautiful Eccentric.”

 

 

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