Friday, April 15, 2011

Flowers Marking Time (Two Years in Italy)


April brings these lovely flowers to Parco di Monza. They carpet the forest under the trees, and never cease to make me smile. I watch the shoots as they start to push up through last year's fallen leaves, growing tall and strong. Then the flower stems appear, the buds hinting at what is to come and suddenly, one day, they are all bursting open like fireworks, celebrating spring.


These flowers are a marker of time for me. Two years ago today, I arrived in Italy to start my assignment, and as I took possession of our apartment that first week these flowers were in bloom under the trees. I would drive by the park in those early days, see them and smile. I had the desire to walk under the trees and to capture the beauty of the flowers with my camera, but life was a blur of craziness at the time. Just figuring out where to find items in a grocery store was a major, energy-draining event.

One year ago, as the flowers started to bloom, I was able to capture their beauty. This time last year was an amazing time for me, having made it through that first year and settled comfortably into daily life, I was really moving on my creative journey. I was able to see the world with fresh eyes, to approach my photography with an unrepressed joy. I was discovering and uncovering the creative self, the artist, that had been lurking inside of me all along. The burst of creativity I felt in capturing the images of these flowers last year resulted in the first ever Exploring with a Camera post, From a Flower's Point of View. You may recognize these flowers in the Exploring with a Camera button and page, they are the symbol of what "exploring" really means to me: coming to the world around us with wide open arms and hearts, and finding absolute joy in what is discovered there.


This week, I went into the park with my camera once again. I wanted to capture the beauty of these flowers, but I wondered how I could possibly top last year. The excitement and joy of that outing, and the love of those images, still stays with me a year later. But as always, my art reveals things about me I wasn't expecting. With the passing of a year, I have changed and grown. I see differently. While I may have started my outing with the leftover vision of last year's exploration, what I saw in the flowers this year was new and revealing.

This year, I noticed the shadows.


I discovered the beauty of the flowers, revealed in new way.


I saw the leaves as the canvas upon which light painted flowers.


I completely and utterly lost track of time, I was so engrossed in my exploration of light and shadow. I immersed myself in the rediscovery of these flowers, and along the way, had the sad realization that this is my last year of seeing them bloom. Two years in Italy are gone, a little over two months left. I shed a tear or two, there amongst the flowers, holding my camera.

How can I not be wistful, as I contemplate leaving a place that's given me so much? I know it's not Italy itself that has changed me, it has been my response and willingness to take every experience that comes my way, living life to the fullest and seeking growth. As I photographed the shadows of these flowers I realized: Italy is the canvas upon which life has painted me. It is here I learned to look closer, and I discovered myself in the light and shadow.

17 comments:

  1. Lovely post, Kat. The shadow photo is absolutely gorgeous - a great composition. These look a little like wild garlic. If they are you will certainly have smelled it. We have some in our garden but the flowers aren't out yet.

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  2. What a wonderful way to mark and measure time..Love how you've captured the flowers blooming!

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  3. I am moved by your words, by how you are able to capture this beauty in a new way, and by the way you see your growth in your self. Thanks for sharing the photos and your experience.

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  4. The shadows of these beautiful flowers are so delicate.

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  5. The shadows can be revealing and yet mysterious. I think you will find even more of what Italy has taught you after you return. :)

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  6. Beautiful photos, Kat, and perhaps even more beautiful post. I'm going to miss your Italy,too!

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  7. Happy flower anniversary! The story of your creative journey is very moving and inspiring. Your flower images are just beautiful. Brava, Kat!

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  8. I love how you really see... They remind me of wild garlic flowers that grow in woodlands in the UK. You can eat the leaves and roots - a mild garlicky taste.

    Enjoy your last two months in Italy - but I'm sure you'll be back. It must be in your blood now - a part of you forever.

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  9. What a beautiful post and what gorgeous photos. I have a feeling the next two years will be filled with new adventures and opportunities to stretch your wings.

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  10. What a lovely post. Your creative journey leads you on and on. Your words are an inspiration to me. And the shadows are exquisite.
    Joanna

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  11. And you will take all of that right along with you where ever you go! I have had the same experience, coming back to a place thinking there will be nothing new and then being amazed at seeing things differently because of what I have learned along the way. Always new inspiration if we are just open to it!!

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  12. Love, loving the flowers Miss K! and those shadows are just fabulous.

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  13. The flowers are very beautiful - have you ever found out their name? I especially love the photos with the shadows, they look kind of fragile.
    How do you feel now that your time in Italy is getting closer to its end? Are you a bit wistful?

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  14. beautiful. i love how you noticed them in a totally new way.

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  15. Hi,

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