Every day lately I’ve been walking past the trees covered in stunning blossoms just around the corner from my apartment. Each time I make a mental note to take a closer look at their beauty before they all fall down to form a colourful carpet at the foot of the trees.
Today after dinner I went for a digestive walk and finally remembered to bring my camera with me. I caught the very last rays of sunshine before it dipped behind the buildings on the other side of the canal. The sheer number of them is breathtaking and I enjoyed watching them sway in the wind. I also love how the petals are a darker pink on the outside compared to the lighter coloured inside.
BEHIND THE SCENES #2
Often I find myself drawn to plants that are slightly past their prime or have suffered under heavy rains.
I really enjoy capturing the details of an rebellious cowlick petal, dried-out leaves, a slightly wonky flower or fragile frozen petals… In a world where beauty is often constricted by strict norms, symmetry and fitting neatly into boxes, I love how nature has its way of showing that beauty can take many shapes and has nothing to do with perfection.
Striving to ignore the messages of the media and being mindful of unrealistic expectations is a daily practice. The unexpected charm of these plants is a wonderful reminder for me to be more accepting of my perceived flaws and loving myself as I am is probably the best way to resist a system that is not doing us any good.
This is a theme that I keep coming back to. You can find previous musings on the topic here, here and here🙂
Late this autumn, I planted some mixed seeds into the soil of the empty looking pots on my balcony, and to my surprise some these lovely orange flowers came up. I can see them every day, through the glass of the balcony door when I sit at the kitchen table. Their hardiness and bright colour have been giving me so much joy in past weeks.
Normally the petals reach straight outwards from the center, but recently, maybe because of the cold, they started curling slightly, making the flower even more beautiful. One morning last week I decided it was ok to miss the usual tram I take to work, to spend a few quiet moments to photograph its fleeting charm in the first rays of daylight. So glad I did!
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #153
Last Sunday I kept an entire day free of plans, so that I could recharge my batteries. I had some work to do on my writing assignment and plenty of other to-dos, but I decided to first take some time for myself.
I spent an hour meditating, sitting in silence and trying to focus only on my breathing (which in reality ended up being more like becoming aware of my incessant thoughts and letting them come and go). It felt like a reset for my overstimulated brain, a welcome break from constant inputs.
Afterwards, since the sun made a welcome appearance after some very rainy days, I took the chance to go for a slow walk in the neighbourhood. I did my best to stay as much as possible on the sunny side of the street to soak up lots of vitamine D and watched people enjoying the good weather as I ambled along.
The autumn colours were beautiful, with colourful leaves holding tight to their branches and covering the pavement. I also enjoyed observing the details of the last flowers remaining in people’s gardens, like this purple flower with its silky petals emerging from the strange black and green pod, and the petals around the remnants of this bordeaux-coloured flower.
Just a few words today, because I’ve spent too much time at the computer this weekend, working on my writing assignment in the hope that my genius would turn up and give me a hand (in vain!). So I leave you simply with this photo of a beautiful camellia, of which there are many at the Botanic Garden in Cologne. I love how the silky light green outer petals open for the explosion of the flower, the flurry of pink speckles and dark pink patches on the curves of the petals. Wishing you a good week!
Yesterday in between two rain showers I went for a quick wander to get some fresh air, and I came across these beautiful yellow flowers, a lone stem left on the sidewalk by some recycling bins. Sure, the leaves were a bit wilted, but apart from that the blooms were still in great shape. Look at that multitude of gorgeous, tiny petals! So I took them home and popped them into a small vase. I felt so lucky to have found them and it totally made my day:) They are the perfect splash of colour to lighten up the kitchen in these dreary winter evenings.
JOYFUL GRATITUDE #84
I’ve been enjoying the longest days of the year to go on after-dinner walks and the neighbourhood is more and more beautiful with a multitude of different flowers blossoming all over the place.
I am grateful to the imperfect flowers who show up in all their splendour despite the fact that their petals are slightly wonky and uneven. These are the flowers I like best, they seem like a kind reminder to forget wondering ‘what will people think’ and just show yourself as the unique beauty you are.
More imperfect beauty from a mindful stroll and a winter walk.
When was the last time you really looked closely at what is around you? Most of the time I am completely on auto-pilot, rushing to and from work, completely stuck in my head thinking about all the things I need to do or annoyed at the rain pouring down…
On Saturday morning, I took the opportunity of a ray of sunshine to go for a walk in the neighbourhood and consciously really looked at buildings, bikes, dogs, plants as I passed them. I started to notice tiny details. As autumn comes to an end, some plants are valiantly holding on to their last threads of life.
I was so happy to observe the plants on my way and focus on the beauty in their imperfections: slightly bruised and fading petals, leaves drying into brilliant reds, gorgeous lace-like patterns… It is the perfect trick for getting out of my whirling thoughts and truly being in the moment:)