Wild Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers!


Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

Here's what a year of gardening produces in my program...students who have budded into capable healthcare professionals.

Here’s what a year of gardening produces in my program…students who have budded into capable graduates, ready to spread their fragrant knowledge into the world!

Mary apparently didn’t always have a favorable disposition, based on how she’s introduced to us in Ye Olde English nursery rhyme here. Yet, it didn’t seem to stop people from seeking out answers from her. Why, I wonder? Well, from what I can tell…because she was obviously willing to give them. (Yes, I picked all that up in one charming little stanza.)

Mary was a gardener. Perhaps she dealt with a lot of weeds. I don’t know – the stanza didn’t say. I’m simply projecting. But she did obviously sow seeds and cultivate her crop to assure it would grow – abundantly and beautifully. Her garden was full of a variety of cultivated products too, and she was individually proud of how each turned out. She doesn’t miss a beat in listing them (like her children) either, and calling them pretty (and pointing out their order – all in a row). In other words, her showcase hadn’t happened by accident! It had happened from Mary’s planning and care.

How often do we haphazardly begin each day, our interactions only happening by accident when we stumble across someone who first speaks to us (or maybe sometimes we feel that we don’t even need to bother)? How often do we leave our lives up to happen-stance, never even stopping to consider a good purpose for our days? What if, instead, we woke up with a farmer’s attitude – ready to greet the new day and go out to tend to our garden?

For me, that begins with cultivating a seed inside with some contemplative devotional time (we’ll translate that to pulling weeds), then some contemplative reflective time (cultivating my garden – where I often allow my thoughts to be recorded in words). But my garden can’t end there if I truly wish for it to be a garden. Gardens are meant to be shared! (So, on occasion, I let someone like you see my sprouts and buds too! Again, I try to pull all the weeds first, of course). Remember, even as contrary as Mary might have felt sometimes, she was obviously willing and ready to share her garden’s blessings when people came in search of them. (Maybe the next stanza in Mary’s life would’ve shown her going outside of her own garden’s comfort zone and taking a bouquet elsewhere.) That’s what we might call the beginning of a legacy – something we can leave that spreads out much greater than – beyond – ourselves.

Silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids in a row…what a much nicer legacy to display than grumpy thoughts and tainted words and anger in the heart stowed. Gardens are meant to nourish the body and the spirit, depending on the crop that’s being produced. Today’s prompt is a good reminder that bright, colorful crops serve to wipe out the dullness in an otherwise dreary world.

FLOWER POWER!  I’ve put together a few more flowery arrangements in photos, to hold me over until the Spring buds get a little pushier…thought I’d share them today with you.


Here’s one way Seattle’s Pike Street Market grows its garden.

And here's another... (Pike Street Market, Seattle, WA)

And here’s another… (Pike Street Market, Seattle, WA)

Flowers framing a lovely, relaxing scenic view.

Flowers framing a lovely, relaxing ‘Southern Living’ scenic deck view.

A favored Mother's Day gift - because the giver keeps growing in my heart daily.

A favored Mother’s Day gift – because the giver keeps growing daily in my heart.

pink flower girl

And here’s a sweet little flower girl I’d pick any day!

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggers. This week’s Challenge is: Flowers!

The truth is, I’m throwing these into the photo pile at the last minute, just as the challenge is about to close (which is also convenient, as I wasn’t anticipating receiving any accolades). But it was a great reason to brighten up my wintry site with a splash of spring bouquets!

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