Photos. I shoot lots of them without always knowing why. Take this one. It is a tightly closed bud on a magnolia tree. I have no idea what suggested it was photo worthy.

Several more times I walked by this same magnolia and noticed the bud’s changes. It became this.

And this.

And then this.

No sooner had it opened to its full, waxy beauty then it began to change once more.

At last, there was nothing left but a browned form that would soon release petal by petal to the ground.

My intention was to delete these images, but when I looked at them all together I realized they conveyed a message. What started as a tiny bud, matured and thrived until it was done. Thinking about that in terms of humans, I saw similarity. We are born and given opportunity to enjoy what life has to offer before “browning” and leaving behind only memories that others hold of us.

I don’t know what prompted these thoughts except that during this period of isolation four friends have died, only one from Covid19. Losing each has made me sad, but in the midst of sadness came joy. A child, one that makes me a great aunt, was born to remind me that, like for the magnolia, there is a time for all of us.

25 thoughts on “Messages

  1. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friends. There is never a good time but during this period of social distancing it is even worse.

  2. And, just like our lives, each season has its own beauty. Thanks for reminding us of that.

  3. Such beautiful images my friend. And such beautiful words. I totally agree with all that you said.
    I am so sorry for the losses of your friends. But congratulate you on the arrival of the new little one.

    1. Thank you. I never dreamed the photos would inspire such thoughts.

  4. Sorry about your friends who have died. Joyful for the baby that made you a great aunt. Joy and sorrow go hand in hand…

  5. I did a post last year on the blooming cycle of the magnolia. Your photos are excellent and I love your sentiments.

    1. Thank you. One never knows from where inspiration will come.

  6. What a heartfelt post, Lulu. Your sequence of shots of the magnolia blossom, from green bud to fertile to fading, is stunning. Sounds like putting the visual together helped you think about what you’re feeling and dealing with. Losing friends feels like having a piece of yourself chipped off, and you can’t get it back.
    So glad you have a young one in the family to brighten your spirits!

    1. Thank you, Lindy, especially for your words about losing friends especially when their time should not be up.

  7. Great sequence! Condolences for your losses.

  8. Beautiful pictures and message 😊

  9. Kathleen Oliver May 13, 2020 — 4:20 pm

    I appreciate the beautiful photographs and the beautiful expressions of their meaning. I am sorry for the loss of your friends. “Great friends make good times better and hard times easier” and we miss every one.

    1. Sometimes the loss is so unexpected that it’s even more painful.

  10. Beautiful photos — love the idea of a sequence. But even more special is the message related to life. Thanks for making my day.

  11. justaseniorwholovesjesus May 13, 2020 — 3:15 pm

    I love your photos. I’m also sorry for the loss of your friends. ❤️

  12. A lovely post, Lulu. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and seeing the magnolia from bud to it’s final withering. I’m so sorry about the deaths of your four friends.

    1. Thank you. There’s never a good time to lose a friend.

  13. entertainingwomen May 13, 2020 — 2:07 pm

    You’ve made a lovely illustration of one of my favorite movie’s theme. “Steel Magnolias” was lovingly created to demonstrate that “life goes on.” I love your photographs. The first one is interestIng with the foreground bokeh effect and the background in focus. It creates an effective allusion of the foundation for a life, a life not quite ready to “bloom.”

    1. Cherry Kay, your comments are always so meaningful and I am grateful. Hope you are well.

  14. Celia Stewart May 13, 2020 — 1:41 pm

    Beautifully written, Linda

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