Posted in Digital Art, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Garden, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photo Challenge/Assignment, Photography, Quotes, Spirit, Summer, Walking & Wandering, Wonder

Symbol

Morning in the sunflower patch.
A sun symbol.  (Collage.  Edited in PicMonkey.)

Beauty has as many meanings as man has moods.  Beauty is the symbol of symbols.  Beauty reveals everything, because it expresses nothing.  When it shows us itself, it shows us the whole fiery-coloured world.

~ Oscar Wilde

Enjoying the day.
Enjoying the day.

This week’s WP photo challenge is Symbol, and I’ve been thinking a lot about symbols, meanings, and messages this week.  Flowers, for instance, have long been used to symbolize emotions or to pass along messages about how we feel for one another.  They have also been used in healing.

The sunflower, as I think I mentioned yesterday, is often associated with healing because it is seen as filled with energy from the sun.  Its botanical name, Helianthus annuus, is from the Greek “helios” meaning sun and “anthos” meaning flower.  “Annuus,” of course, means annual.  The sunflower is said to symbolize warmth, vitality, and happiness.  In the Victorian Language of Flowers, the sunflower represents adoration.

The Morning Glory is also associated with the healing warmth of the sun’s energy.  To me, the Morning Glory is a symbol of summer because it is during the height of summer, at least where I currently live, that they begin to bloom.  Because each flower only lives for a day, it is also a reminder to me to open fully, bloom, and enjoy each moment that I am given.

Snuggling.
Namaste.

The zinnia is said to mean “I am thinking of you,” or “I send blessings to you.”  I often think of them as the namaste of flowers.  There is something about them that makes the inner me want to bow and look deeply into and acknowledge the inner zinnia.  They also make me smile.  They’re so cheerful and colorful.  How could I not smile when I see one?

Summer greenery.
Summer greenery.

Colors symbolize a variety of things, too.  Green, it is said, is the color of the heart chakra.  Green calms and soothes, releases tension, and brings about a sense of peace and harmony.  The greens of summer are different from the greens of spring.  Summer greens are lusher, richer, and have more of a sense of mature greenness about them.

Hummingbird symbol.
Hummingbird symbol.

Animals are said to be symbols, and bring meaning to us by becoming totems or spirit guides.  The hummingbird, a bird I always associate with summer, is, according to Ted Andrews in his book Animal Speak, a symbol of Tireless Joy and the Nectar of Life.  Andrews also notes that the hummingbird “can teach you how to use flowers to heal…” and “how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.”

Ruby jewels at his throat.
Ruby jewels at his throat.

Symbols can be found wherever you look, if you happen to be looking for them.

Open-hearted pose.
Open-hearted pose.

Most times, though, I prefer not to go looking for meaning and symbolism in everything.  Better to just enjoy what is while I spend time just being.

Pausing.
Pausing.

Through the sacred art of pausing, we develop the capacity to stop hiding, to stop running away from our experience.  We begin to trust in our natural intelligence, in our naturally wise heart, in our capacity to open to whatever arises.  Like awakening from a dream, in the moment of pausing our trance recedes and Radical Acceptance becomes possible.

~ Tara Brach

Thank you for stopping to pause in the garden with me today.  It’s been a while since I’ve gone to watch a sunset.  I’m not sure we’ll see much this evening because it’s been overcast this afternoon, but if you like, join me at the Point and we’ll see if the sun can find a way to use the clouds to spread some color across the sky.  Sunset this evening is at 8:25 PM.

Shazam!  (Ok, I know this one is a bit corny, but I couldn't resist.  Edited in PicMonkey.)
Shazam! (Ok, I know this one is a bit corny, but I couldn’t resist. Edited in PicMonkey.)

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

Today’s joys:  Finally seeing a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird (and isn’t he gorgeous?); a morning in the flower garden; slightly cooler and drier weather; sitting on the dock watching the seagulls fly by, the turtles swim, and the fish jump; awakening from what Tara Brach refers to as the “trance of fear” by rediscovering grace and gratitude.

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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

26 thoughts on “Symbol

  1. Those sunflowers cheer me up all the time. They have also become my daughter’s favorites so they remind me of her, too. The one at the top of this post is very nice…I like the effect you used.

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  2. What an absolutely beautiful post, Robin. I love the symbols you have offered for our meditation,and the wonderful photos. What a nice thought that the Zinnia is the Namaste of flowers! Makes me want to grow lots more of them!

    Blessings to you,

    WG

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      1. Any that last in the garden beyond their prime are enjoyed by the goldfinches, too 😉 Zinnias are a great favorite for our butterflies, and I have them every year, too. Best wishes, WG

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  3. A wonderful reminder of all the symbols around us … especially the ones one doesn’t think about as a symbol. Gotta love the hummingbirds – and the ones at our feeder have quite the appetite. Love the opening pic!

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  4. Robin, this is the best symbol post I’ve seen all week. I love the symbolism of flowers, colors, and animals you presented along with your great photos. The blurry one with the hummer is genius!
    The pink zinnia made me gasp – wow! Zinnias make me think of my mom’s garden when I was growing up. Nostalgic!

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    1. Thank you, Eliza. 🙂 The blurry one with the hummer was a terrible shot, but I loved the way the silhouette of the bird stood out so I played around with it to add texture and turn it into a symbol of itself. Or something like that. lol!

      Your comment got me to thinking about my mom’s garden from when I was a child. She always had four o’clocks in one of her gardens. I don’t think I’ve seen them anywhere since I was a kid. Out of curiosity, I did a search and started reading about them. Interesting plants. They can bioremediate polluted soil, they can protect crop plants from viruses (wish I’d planted some by my peppers because they appear to be suffering from a virus), and they are water-wise (can help the soil retain moisture). I might try planting some next year in honor of my mom. Since it sounds like they can take over the joint (the way mint does), maybe I’ll plant them at the edge of the woods.

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      1. Our mechanic has them all around his building, which has been used to work on cars at least since the 40s, so you know it is polluted soil, and they self-sow every year. Strong plant!

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  5. I love this post and your take on symbols. Sunflowers and zinnias are favorites of mine as well, althought I forgot to plant any zinnias this year, darn it! Sunflowers remind me of my younger daughter, my summer blond baby – who isn’t a baby any more! And of course you know how I feel about hummingbirds. Your shots are awesome! I’ve been watching “my” hummingbird at my feeder all summer and still haven’t gotten a photo.

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    1. Thank you, Karma. 🙂 I haven’t gotten too many shots of my hummingbirds, either. I spend more time watching them than I do trying to photograph them. They can be quite entertaining. I love your flower associations. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Barbara. 🙂 I think if I had the time and energy, I’d plant pops of colorful flowers everywhere on the property. Mother Nature already does a lot of the work with the wildflowers so we’re off to a good start.

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  6. The sunflowers are really something special and I feel that they exude their symbol of warmth, vitality, and happiness. Your whole property right now seems to be a flower lovers, and a photographers, delight! 🙂

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Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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