As I’ve watched the daffodils bud and come to blossom this spring I’ve noticed what they do just before they open their colourful blossoms and display their full glory: they bow their heads, as in humility.
Maybe because this week is Holy Week, ( the week in the Christian year between Palm Sunday and Good Friday, leading to the great feast of Easter) this detail of their downward movement has struck me. For this is what we see — the glory of God mostly clearly, fully displayed in the humility of Jesus who, “… though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. (see Philippians 2:5ff).
For more reflections on Holy Week, you can check out my ‘Lection Section’ Blog here.
In the course of the day’s demands, which today included the simple task of having a brake light replaced on my car, we found ourselves walking in a neighbourhood we hadn’t explored before. The repair folk needed us to leave the car with them for a while, so off we set to explore the neighbourhood around the car dealership. What an unexpected treat. The streets were quiet— almost deserted— and spring gardens were burgeoning with blossoms: japonica, forsythia, hyacinths, daffodils, pansies, flowering trees in full bloom including magnolias and cherries. So much colour. So much design and care and beauty.
The clematis that was climbing tenaciously up the supports of a carport, adorning an otherwise unassuming piece of architecture, was just one of the many strikingly beautiful treats on our walk.
And now my brake light is replaced! (bonus!)
Since I wanted to draw attention to the clematis itself, I’ve adjusted this iPhone photo using Photoshop for layers and masks, and Topaz Impression to add the desaturated / textured/ drawing effect on the perimeter of the photo.
The road rises and curves away out of sight. Who knows what’s around the next corner… Meanwhile, right where we stand we’re surrounded by beauty—a beauty that’s both softened and strangely enhanced by the early spring mists. I stop to catch my breath, and admire the wonder of where I am before plugging on up the hill and to whatever awaits around the bend.
The pure clear face of this camelia — its serene perfection with a backdrop of relative dark disorder was similarly captivating for me— its creamy petals, in regular geometric pattern signalling a gracious presence even amidst the chaos. Beholding this gentle beauty almost grants the kind of serenity it embodies. And just as fleetingly, for the camelia blooms last only a very brief time before fading and falling.
This is an iPhone photo, as it was one of those moments on a dog-walk when a sight cries out to be captured. I’ve added some layers of texture to the background to emphasize the clarity of the blossom itself.
Finlay Lake Conservation Area – Click on image for a larger view
We’d wanted to walk in to Finlay Lake for a while, so with the sun shining brilliantly, it seemed a good day to set out for this quiet spot.
The path leading through the forest was bursting with spring shoots, and the birds were singing in the canopy above us, and the winter wrens and towhees rustling in the ferns and salal.
When the path opened to the lake there were a few Buffleheads on the far side, but otherwise all was still. Occasionally a raven’s call echoed through the trees, and an eagle flew past. Otherwise, simply stillness— but a stillness that is burgeoning with life.
glimpses of the extraordinary amidst an ordinary day