Saturday, August 27, 2016

Magnolia Inspirations

One of my all time favorite movies is Steel Magnolias, a tear jerker for sure. When I'm in need of steeling myself against the world, I slide a copy into the DVD and watch away. I see so many traits of my friends in the strong characters that come and go as the story unfolds. Every time at the end of the movie when the tissues have settled and the tears dried, I resolve to become more like those southern women, delicate as the magnolia blossoms now adorning the tree in my front yard...delicate with a hidden strength of steel.

This past week was not an easy one for me as I began breast cancer radiation treatments (stage one, so not as dire as it sounds). Even so, I needed to have nerves of steel, so Monday I turned to the magnolia bloom for inspiration, creating this internet poster from a picture I snapped of a bloom in my front yard.

The scent of a magnolia is beyond description. I've searched the Thesaurus for the exact word and the closest I came was honeyed. Well, there was also sweet. Not to mention saccharine. Saccharine, maybe a bit deceptively sweet, sickening in sweetness. That would be a steel magnolia. One that emits sugar and spice and all things nice, and at the same time girding oneself against the odds. Like this spider I snapped on another blossom.
Greenish spider on top of petal
with its honeybee prey wrapped in silk on the petal below
Life in a tree. It goes on. The spider survives because of its ability to use this delicately scented bloom, yet the bloom itself doesn't survive. It turns brown within a day or two and the petals drop unceremoniously to the ground and the spider moves to the nearest ready blossom, because there will be more blossoms. That's the way magnolia trees work. 

If you look carefully above the white blossom on the tree in my yard, you can see an outdated, dried up, well past its prime, brown blossom. And if you look even closer, you will note more brown beneath the tree on the ground. Those are not only the droppings of past petals, but also leaves the tree has recently shed. A magnolia tree loses its leaves year round, not all at once. It's evergreen, bringing color to the drabness of blossoms though. That's reserved for summertime pleasure. 

When I need inspiration, I think of these deceptively delicate flowers surrounding my home. I need strength of steel behind my smile and in the magnolia I find a symbol to hold to. I'll say I'm fine, and I am, but I'm also struggling like that brown version clinging on the branch. The good thing about an evergreen is that through all the shedding and dropping and bees and aromas, this tree will still be there, sporting different blooms no doubt, but still there. Like a promise of tomorrow.

Catch of the day,


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