A Cactus Flower, and the Experience of Wonder



Right by our mailbox is a lush cactus that blooms each spring. I say "lush" because this cactus has been growing there for decades, and has arms going in all directions. It is health and vibrant, and I love the juxtaposition of its thorns with its small yellow blossoms, And as you can see, there's another bud right above the flower about to bloom too, as well as an ant gathering some pollen or nectar. These flowers are a beautiful complement to the spiky cactus arms.


Every time I go out to get the mail at this time of year, I pause to to take in this scene, and relish the sense of wonder that arises in me. I could try to put more words to this, but the word wonder has a living essence, I think, when used in the right context. It's like a mantra, in a way - it somehow connects with my essence and awakens me to a deeper reality.


What awakens your sense of wonder, in the midst of daily life? What beauty, radiance, or awe brings your spirit or heart to the forefront of your awareness?


I'm fascinated at how having a camera (my iPhone) with me at all times often keeps my "photographer's eye" awake as I go about my day. My subtle awareness of it (and my long-time love of discovering beauty by seeing the world through photography), lends a subtle magic to life.


Here's an example: I was at a friend's home where a number of us were socializing outside. As we were returning to the house, I saw this brilliant, perfectly formed flower cradled in the plants' leaves and the morning sun. I paused, took a photo, and continued going back inside. As I look at it now, I'm aware that gazing at this image awakens a sense of calm and wonder in me. Somehow, the light, the shapes of the petals and leaves, and the translucency of the flower seem perfectly arranged. Even more, there's a living essence that comes through this image, even on a computer screen.


Perhaps my thoughts about how having my camera with me almost all the time might inspire you to pull our your cell phone/camera more often and see the world through its lens!


warmly yours,

Paul


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