Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 5 – Pairs

I took this photo last Sunday as I walked along the beachfront with my grandchildren.



Everyone enjoys the beach in spring or summer, when the weather’s warm, but the beach in Autumn and winter is majestic. the sea is more furious, the colours are bolder, and the promise of long lazy days is alluring. This pair of baby palm trees seem to be huddled together, keeping themselves warm and sheltered from the merciless colder seasons.


The theme pairs, reminds me, once again, of another one of Emily Dickinson’s most famous poems about a ‘pair of nobodies’:

 I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there ‘s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They ‘d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Emily’s poems were published posthumously (except one or two published in literary magazines in her lifetime). She wished to remain unknown, probably even a recluse. Some modern researchers have even identified a degree of agoraphobia in her later years.

In this poem, Emily claims to be ‘nobody’ and asks the reader if he/she is nobody too, so writer and reader are united in their anonymity, which they must fight to preserve, because if they dare to become ‘public’ or well-known, they’d be like frogs living in bogs. Evidently, she thought very little of fame and fortune!


Check out Hugh’s blog and some of the other pictures and reflections on pairs here


Hugh’s Photo Challenge: Week 4 – Isolated

This photo was taken on 12th October. There used to be splendid rose-bush in that spot, but it dried up, or so I thought, and it was cut down last summer. Twenty days ago, I noticed one solitary, brave rose had grown, and was defiantly facing the autumn wind and showers. I remember approaching this lonely and isolated flower, and noticing the smell was as intense as its crimson petals.


It’s not a beautiful photo, but it’s a beautiful flower.

This isolated and solitary rose is a symbol of resilience, intelligence, courage, and humility. These are the lessons the rose is teaching me.

Resilience. Hang on in there! Only those who abandon the game lose. Everyone who takes part gains from the experience. Losers are those who gave up. Life is a journey, not a destination. Make sure you stay on the train.

Intelligence. Don’t fight a battle you can’t win. Learn, like the rose to bend with the wind, there’s no use in resisting, it would only break the stem. Go with the flow, and accept that there will be good moments and more difficult ones. Adapt. Learn the lesson and move on. The wind will stop eventually.

Courage. Move out of your comfort zone. Follow your dreams and be brave enough to make the effort to grasp them. It’s easier to do what’s expected, to do what you’ve always done, but if you want to grow, you need to pursue your dreams.

Humility. Be humble enough to keep learning. However much you think you know, you can always learn more. However good you think you are, you can always be better.

This tiny rose is beautiful as well as strong, clever, brave, and humble.

Finally, the rose is also telling me that solitude and isolation need not be a disadvantage. I can do it on my own. Although, like the rose I’m never really alone. The rose has the earth, air, and rain, to nurture it. Although I sometimes feel isolated, I’m not alone, because we are all connected to the universe.   

This rose reminds me of a dramatic short poem by Emily Dickinson (She was a Master at Flash Fiction! Her verses are short and powerful).

When Roses cease to bloom, Sir,
And Violets are done —
When Bumblebees in solemn flight
Have passed beyond the Sun —
The hand that paused to gather
Upon this Summer’s day
Will idle lie — in Auburn —
Then take my flowers — pray!

As I interpret this poem, Emily is telling us about the poems she wrote (The hand that paused to gather), which are her flowers (Roses and Violets), and asks Sir (the unknown person she loved), to take them (Take my flowers) once she has died (will idle lie).

My rose has, in fact, died now, but that’s the rose’s destiny, to be admired only for a short yet intense lifespan.

I know there will be more roses shortly, my rose-bush has definitely not dried up!

Check out Hugh’s blog and some of the other pictures and reflections here