I received the inspiration for this post from a comment one of my favorite blogging ladies -- Tonja at Tonja's Gatherings -- recently made about some of my photos of spring flowers and trees. If you have not had the pleasure of visiting Tonja, I hope you will stop by Gatherings and treat yourself to her delightful sense of humor, ever-inspiring faith, and beautiful, sweet spirit.
Here is the gracious note she wrote about my flower photos:
How you manage to find just that exact spot on the flower that holds it very essence! It's as if you can pick out the soul of the flower! I guess it's not 'soul' in a flower, but I think you get my drift! It was wonderful.
I appreciated Tonja's kind words and they got me to thinking about the fascinating concept of flowers having a "soul." I looked up the definition of soul, and found that it has several meanings that could apply to flowers:
The quality or qualities that
make a thing what it is;
An active or essential part;
And my favorite:
The quality that arouses emotion and sentiment.
Since I've been photographing flowers, I have discovered some of those qualities hidden deep within their petals and centers, which can't be seen by the naked eye. Only through the magic of my camera lens have I been blessed with seeing the actual heart of a flower -- it's pistils and stamen and carpel and all its other parts that "make it what it is." It is always a breathtakingly beautiful sight when my camera focuses on a flower's deepest core, and it never fails to evoke an emotional and/or sentimental response from me.
It may sound strange, or even weird, but I can recall several occasions when I have been overcome by emotion while capturing pictures of flowers. The most notable occasion was during a photo shoot in March of this year at the Old Court House Museum here in Vicksburg. As I walked around the grounds, I spotted this beautiful purple Iris in the distance.
It looked so regal, standing there proud and tall, and I decided to get some close up shots. Boy, was I in for a surprise! You can click on the images, if you'd like to get a closer look inside these flowers.
As I zoomed in with my lens, I noticed that it looked like a little light was shining from deep within the depths of the petals.
Until it looked as if there was a candle burning brightly within the center of the Iris -- like a heartbeat.
I'll never forget seeing that image through the lens, and the chill bumps accompanying it.
Another memorable occasion was when I was taking some macro shots of the center of a magnolia blossom. As I clicked away, I watched transfixed as some of the stamen fell away from the carpel, and I was overwhelmed by the sheer delight of being able to capture it as it was happening.
There have been countless other times when God's glory has been revealed to me from the depths of flower petals. While all flowers are beautiful on the outside, I believe that, just as with human beings, it is the "inner glory" found deep within the heart of a flower that makes up its "soul," whether it's a tiny wildflower, or a magnificent magnolia blossom.
I would like to share a few more pictures I've captured of flowers that gave me just a small glimpse into their "hearts and souls."
Or the centers of this glorious Hibiscus and the Lotus Blossom below, which aren't hidden from sight ...
The heart of a Morning Glory
And the breathtakingly beautiful
center of a Snapdragon ...
And, last, but not least, one of my favorite most recent magnolias, with its very heart on display for all the world to see ...
I would like to thank Tonja again for giving me the inspiration for this thought-provoking post ... and I would like to thank God for the blessing of His glory that surrounds us ... even in the "souls" of His flowers.