Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Paying Attention to Patterns

by Kelly

My neighbor’s coneflowers are blooming.

Now, I know what you’re thinking…  ‘Well that’s great Kelly, but really?  A blog post about your neighbor’s coneflowers? What’s the big deal?’

Well the big deal is that I dearly love purple coneflowers. I love their divine color.  The ordered arrangement of petals.  And with these especially, the way the late evening sun washes them in a magical golden light and sets them all aglow.

As I was traipsing through my neighbor’s front yard the other night with my camera, I thought to myself, ‘well this is kind of silly…why would you take another picture of mrs. graham’s coneflowers?  you’ve taken pictures of them for the past two years.  move on…find something different to photograph.’

But I love these coneflowers.  And I look forward to them every year.  Just like I do my daylilies and my shasta daisies.

I love that about gardening… this predictable cycle of bloom. From late-February to late November - crocus, daffodils, tulips, iris, peonies, etc. – at any given time I can pretty much expect that something will be blooming.  And purple coneflowers are just one glorious phase in the succession of blooms in the course of my gardening season.

I find so much joy in the routine and rhythm of my garden.  And I like a certain amount of routine in my life as well.  Having an order to my days.  Knowing to a certain degree what will happen from one day to the next.  A pattern to my life if you will.

I don’t know if you’re into this sort of thing, but my daughter says that I am a classic Taurus.

My guess is that if you have been gardening or photographing or blogging or parenting (or whatever!) for any length of time at all, you probably recognize patterns in your own world...in your own life.

And I think there is a place in photography for documenting these routines.  To celebrate or at least give a nod to the patterns that make up our ordinary days.  Morning coffee, daily runs, going to the store, making dinner. These patterns tell us so much about who we are and what we love.

But you know, if all of life was this same predictable routine, day in and day out, well that would get pretty boring.  Monotonous.  Even for me...the Taurus of all Tauruses.   Thankfully life isn't always so predictable. There are always happy surprises in the garden....like when your saucer magnolia just up and re-blooms for no apparent reason.

So today I'm honoring the ordinary.  The routine.  The pattern of our days.  But also, the out of the ordinary, like having your daughter home from college.  Making coffee for two in the morning.

This is the good stuff.

So how about you?  Do you love routine?  What are the predictable routines and patterns in your life?  We'd love for you to share with us in the comments or in our Flickr pool.  There are so many gorgeous images of pattern this month!  Thank you to all who are playing along with this month's theme!  And if you are on Instagram, be sure to tag your photos of patterns with #focusingonlife.  

Until next time, 



Dotti said...

Oh, yes, Kelly! The patterns of our lives. Our minds have been on a parallel course here. Beautiful photos of the patterns of your life. Yes ... I am as bad with my coneflowers as you are. Every time I look out the porch window, there they are ... beckoning me to photograph them. And the daisies, and the daylilies, and the roses ... well ... you get the picture.

terriporter said...

I know exactly what you mean about the cone flowers! How many photos can I take of cactus in bloom? Apparently an unlimited number! And as far as life patterns go, I love routine. There is something so comforting about knowing what is going to happen and when. But, as you said, it would probably become monotonous after awhile so life puts a few detours in our path but I'm definitely a creature of habit and love the ordinary days in my life. One of my favorite quotes is, "Ordinary day, let me be aware of the treasure you are." Yes, those ordinary days are definitely treasures and I love that you are capturing yours!

Carol said...

One more thing we all have in common. I love my ordinary days and routines too. That was one of the unexpected joys I found when I had my first baby - babies force you into an all-encompassing routine. Some people feel trapped by that - but I loved it.

Cathy said...

This is a great reminder Kelly for all of us to treasure our daily ordinary routines. And that second photo of the cornflower took my breath away. xoxo

Linda said...

Your pictures and dialogue are perfect together. I love that you go from visual patterns to rhythmic patterns of life and back. I see the dinner table as a small part of a bigger pattern. Very well done! So true, I enjoy things when they have a familiar pattern to them. (And I'm not even a. Taurus! lol!)

kybarb said...

I could (and usually do) take photos of flowers all day every day if I had the time. All the colors of garden flowers are such a joy to me:) I need a reminder to take photos of other ordinary everyday photos and a poke every once in awhile to do something OUT of the ordinary too! Hmmm, maybe a 52 weekly challenge wouldn't be sooo bad... thanks for a great post and gorgeous photos Kelly. You all continue to inspire me.

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