Just do it!

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My last weekly trip to the botanical gardens triggered memories of two of my pasts; my long-ago working life and and more recent going down dirt roads in Michigan with friend Julie to photograph whatever was present.

My fibromyalgia had gotten worse because of an increased exercise routine so I was experiencing that weird pain that comes from nowhere and relates to nothing I’m doing. And this causes fatigue. It brought back memories of working, having work responsibilities that I was eager to meet but didn’t have any energy left after showering and dressing. I made a commitment to myself that I would go to work every morning, even if I felt like crap. I had a job with flexible hours so I could almost always grab some computer work that I could do at home between naps. I gave myself permission to return home after 15 minutes if I needed to, but that seldom happened. I found I was thinking about this last trip to my beloved botanical garden before heading north like I approached my beloved work of 10 years ago. I decided to go even though I felt like crap – my parting words to Jim were that I would probably be back within the hour.

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When I reached my favorite starting point, the lower water lily pond, I didn’t see much going on with the lilies. It was a cool morning even though the sun was above the surrounding trees. It seemed like the lilies were having as much difficulty opening up to the day as I was. But I didn’t move on – I lingered, starting to notice all that was happening.

Cannas were growing along the edge of the boardwalk. Two things surprised me; they were growing in water and the variety of colors. The garden book I consulted confirmed that they will grow in water and that there are a broad spectrum of colors of both flowers and foliage. I’ll have to keep an eye out for other colors. If you have other colors growing, maybe you can do a post and provide us a link in the comment section.

There is a coconut palm across the pond from where I was. I frequently wander over there and had tried photographing it but didn’t like any of the results. As I slowed down and really looked I found what I had been looking for reflected on the surface of the pond.

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A couple joined me and after a few minutes the wife moved on. Her husband and I struck up a conversation. He is an artist, currently taking a course on painting from a photograph so he was taking some photos. We talked about photography and painting, color and composition, and post-processing software. I really enjoy poking my head out of my introvert shell every now and then.

And I didn’t feel like going home, so I moved to the other ponds that have lilies, stopping to explore a bird of paradise.

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It was such a beautiful morning that I forgot what was going on with my body – and I didn’t push my body hard. Instead I took lots of photos of how the garden is growing. There were lots of lilies growing in the other ponds so I had the joy of finding new ways of photographing them. I took a lot of my favorite macro shots…

but am finding joy is trying to capture the beauty of flowers within their environment. The garden is maturing and in this part of the garden there is a lot of planning by very talented professional gardeners.

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I will continue to experiment with expanding my view to capture the magic that has captured my heart. Stay tuned.

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