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  • Betty Girardeau

Always Be Ready For A New idea


Wednesday is the day that I regularly water my plants, especially my indoor ones. I have quite a variety of them, including a pineapple that does, in fact, have a baby pineapple growing on it now, two Norfolk Island pines, one of which I saved when my next door neighbor tossed it in the trash, about eight or ten orchid plants, some of which were given to me by a BFF who just moved away, a ficus bonsai tree inherited from neighbor who also recently moved away, and a pothos that I inherited from a now deceased high school classmate. I love all of my plants. But, as you can see from this list, a lot of my plants are super special to me because of their connections. When I water them I take time to check and see how they are doing, and frequently I find unexpected things, like a couple of months ago when that baby pineapple showed up. Recently I did what I hoped to be a judicious pruning of the bonsai so it would stay bonsai-like, and yesterday I noticed new growth on a lower branch that encouraged me to prune a little more to encourage a more compact little tree. Right now several of my orchids are going through their annual single leaf drying up and falling off period. When totally dried and ready to fall off, these leaves are quite unique looking and unrecognizable as ever having been part of an orchid. I plucked off such a leaf yesterday and almost threw it away. Then I realized that it might be a great photography subject. I brought it in and put it down on my desk in order to remind me. A portion of the desk top is tinted glass (not sure why, but it is pretty cool.) As I glanced at the dried up leaf reflecting off this glass I got an idea, and the above image is one of the results. Here again, it's no prize winner. But it does present me with a lot of other new ideas for reflected image photography in ways and places I had never considered before. It would have been so easy for me to have just thrown out that dried leaf. And what if I had not placed it on my glass desk top and noticed the interesting reflection on the glass? Our lives are constantly full of such things. How often do we just not take notice? How often are we so used to how we see and do things that we don't notice new possibilities? We are so used to doing things the same way and seeing our world the same way that we far too often miss opportunities that could enrich us in unexpected ways. I think about when I used to work as an organist/choir director. All too often when I suggested new ideas I would be rebuffed with the words, "But we have always done it this way." What an awful sentence! Our lives can be so enriched if we get out of our ruts and notice other possibilities, especially when they are right there in front of us, like my dried up leaf on Wednesday.

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