I’m only on the second day of this project, but already I’m struggling to choose just one photo from the many I’ve taken. I went for a walk in the woods this morning and found a beautiful camp some children had made out of fallen tree branches (it included several adjoining rooms, seating areas and two separate entrances). I found the message ‘Hello Sharon’ written in bits of broken bark on the edge of a path (and thought what a wonderful serendipitous image it would be to use if a Sharon happened upon my post!). I also found some beautiful, expressive images of broken tree branches being held up by other trees which were still standing. All of these images spoke to me, but today I have chosen another image from my own home: Giggling Tulips.
I adore tulips and was given these two weeks ago. When they arrived they were very prim and upright: perfectly formed, but stiff, unyielding and each one practically identical. They have started shedding their petals, but are now at the stage I love them most. Each one is unique and moving in a different direction. They are graceful, musical and animated. Before they were a uniform red, but now as they are drying out the dark red veins of colour are becoming richer and more striking and each petal is curling or drooping in its own individual way.
I need to see and experience this as a middle-aged woman.
There are times when I yearn to be young again: to have flawless skin, a perfect figure, to feel part of a group where we all know exactly how we should behave and look and be. There are times when I am ambivalent about getting older: I fear loss and decay and invisibility. And yet I look at the giggling tulips and I am reminded that I don’t really want to go back, but on. I want to get richer with age, more individual, more striking, more fully and uniquely myself. I long to travel on my own path and to know deep in my bones that as I learn to yield to life I will never, ever be lost.