They are tiny still life home movie posters, these photographs I share with you. All around me there are so many little joys I find everyday I can’t keep to myself. Everyday, as July grows into the first of August, my heart hurts open wide, like an egg cracking, firewood snapping, insect bite itching and burning, and I crave to burst outward, spilling all these joys all across the universe. In a lava flow, streams of stars, sparkling, ranting, raving, shining for your attention, I can’t wait for the relief of finally sitting down and seeing your reaction… to match mine, like mine, when I walk through the woods and see the garden glories smile back at me.
I cannot photograph a single flower now without also capturing a bee or fly hard at work. I admire their every move. They do not seem to mind I’m there. I could tell that the bee on the thistle was old. Its wings were tattered at the edges, but perhaps this nothing much — how long do they live? And does it matter? I don’t think it matters to them. It was very happy.
Just across the trail, directly behind me, was another happy fellow; an amber wasp dancing along brilliant mustard yellow flowers.
I’m never creeped out by these little guys. For one thing, they are not in my home, I am visiting their space, or I’m just walking through their work place. On this week’s end before Lughnasadh, I decide to make it a mission to really take notice of these creatures and appreciate them.
Most of the time I just walk and think of other things, human stuff. I am most often depressed, my mind is full of desperate cares I cannot cure, and so all I do is the act of walking to clear my mind into just the concern of putting one foot in front of the other. When I deliberately set my thoughts to think about the lives of other living things, I forget my humanity, like taking a vacation from myself, and temporarily enter the exotic world of wild and wonderful things.
And the wild things look back at me, wary, curious, innocent. When I took the photo of the fly with the white underbelly, a group of children all tied together by a string leashed to their teacher (cutest thing to see) slowly walked by me. The teacher bade the kids to step slowly around me because I was taking a photograph. “There are people who use the nature reserve to study,” the teacher almost whispered, and the children quieted down, their big eyes ooh-ing and ahh-ing me, “remember what I told you, this is not just a park, this is a classroom. Let’s not disturb the lady…”
I don’t know why, but I love it when adults and children call me “lady” because it sounds sweet, not because it sounds like they are considering me an aristocrat. “Lady” is like frosting next to the “cake” of my name.
The nature reserve is not the only place to commune with garden bugs. I found plenty more, but many were too quick and jumpy for me to photograph. So I crawl up close to the flowers, stick my face and head and hands into the plants and trees, sniffing out critters, pressing my cheeks close to leaves and petals, and feeling so much love I could die the happy death of my dreams.
Then I run out of words. My most favorite Hibiscus flowers have bloomed again, a sure sign that August is about to come. I look into the center of the flower and see a star, my star, and I think of my God, and he tells me to stop advertising my sorrows and complaints and just get on with my work so I better listen.
When I do, I get back home, I hold my pencil over paper, I remember to smile when I think of my friends, fight the fear of loss, and draw out of love for them, draw upon my love for everyone, and there’s no more hurt or bursting, just a gentle gurgling-giggling from within.