Magnolia in Hand


I’ve been carrying Susannah Conoway’s incredible image of a magnolia branch in my mind ever since I first saw it two years ago.  It’s beautiful, of course, but what is so mesmerizing to me is how vividly she has captured her experience of spring.

After prowling around this magnolia for at least an hour, looking and shooting, and trying to watch it honestly, I felt I was getting nowhere.  Realizing it was almost time to go home, I decided I would try my evening meditation in the company of the magnolia.  I sat on a bench where I could see it.  The tension, the urgency of each image I was looking started to unwind as I looked at the pink mass of petals shifting in the exhalations of a light breeze.  I listened to the rumble of skateboarders and laughter of neighbors enjoying their view the park.  I wondered, “What is this feeling I have for this tree?  What is it I want from it?”

One word rose up, clear as a bell.  “Devour.”

Just sitting on a bench in the park is nothing fancy.  Craving the resurgence of life in springtime is nothing special.  So after the timer on my phone went off, I got up and went back to the tree for a while, with my camera.  This is what she gave me.  I feel very, very blessed.


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