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