One of the things that I strongly associate with the state of Mississippi is her magnolias. She is the Magnolia State afterall, which means that I suppose that association makes sense. The thing is, though, I didn’t really think about Mississippi and Magnolias until after I’d really started to spend some time here. Before I moved here and got to see their beauty in person, I kinda thought that magnolias smelled a bit too…heavy…if that makes sense. And then I realized that well – that scent I associated with magnolias? Not quite the scent…and that I really enjoy the scent of magnolias. (& gardenias but that will be a different post)
If you follow me on Instagram, a couple of weeks ago, you may have seen an excited post about seeing the first magnolia blossom. I start looking for them towards the end of March, even though I know that it is way too soon for them to make their appearance. I start watching, though, because I know it won’t be long, I know that those gorgeous, lush flowers will soon begin to unfurl. I see their tightly curled buds and know it won’t be long.
I was surprised, though, when the first one actually made her appearance. Even though I started looking almost a month ago, I really believe that magnolias are the heralds of summertime….and summertime is still a month away. But when I see the magnolia blooms start their show, I know that lazy afternoons on the beach or by the pool are not far behind.
Given the state of the magnolia blooms near our house on the Coast, I figured that surely the blooms here in Hattiesburg would be in full swing. After all, Hattiesburg is where I saw the first bloom. While the Coast may have been behind the Pine Belt, it has certainly raced ahead of the more northern climes with many trees in full bloom…and decay.
It took work to find flowers today, and in fact, I actually only found three or four that I could reach to photograph. There were thousands of pointy buds, reaching out and up and getting ready to put on a show.
As I said, I only found three or four blooms that I could reach in order to capture, and even on my tiptoes, I was having to hold the camera with one hand and pull down the branches with the other, balancing precariously.
It was worth it. So totally and completely worth it to stand in the middle of the University of Southern Mississippi campus, teetering and cursing and muttering to myself.
As I processed my images and reflected on where I find myself at this particular moment in time, it hit me again.Photography is an apt metaphor for my life - the effort is worth it. Click To Tweet
I’ve been struggling lately in a lot of ways. I’m trying to find my way here and with my day job. I’m trying to bring some things to a point of closure and other things I’m getting ready to birth. I’m working on making some of those grown-up transitions. Most of the time, I find myself relying on previous behaviors and habits, only to find that they don’t quite work. It’s almost right, but not quite there.
Like when I went to take this pictures this afternoon.
The first few shots I took were terribly over-exposed…even though according to the meter on my camera, it should have been perfectly exposed. And those first several shots, I couldn’t remember which way to turn the dial to make the necessary adjustments. And I couldn’t remember what to change in terms of my ISO or my shutter speed or my aperture.
Each shot was an adjustment and just when I thought I was getting somewhere, I switched to a a slightly different take, which started the process all over again.
All over again, I was flailing and wonder how in the hell I couldn’t keep it together – why it worked perfectly one moment and the next it didn’t.
Now that I’m home and not in the middle of it, I can see it’s not that I wasn’t keeping it together or that whatever it was that I was/am doing isn’t necessarily not working. It’s just that it needs a little adjustment. Just a little tweak.A little adjustment - a little tweak - is OK. Click To Tweet
Sometimes that tweak is just so subtle that it feels like you’re not really doing anything, you aren’t really making any movement. When you look back, though, you can see that tiny shift was so perfectly what you needed.
(for this one, I like the warmer, darker tones in the flower petals. It just feels and looks better to me. Like a piece of a puzzle falling into place. I don’t know if it’s the better photo…like most things in my life…I just know that I like it better)
As I move into what feel like pretty turbulent waters – if not actually physically so, then certainly emotionally so – I have to remember that going through it is worth it. Doing it and making the adjustments…sometimes again and again and again…is worth it in the end.
Does photography work that way for you? Does it teach you lessons and remind you of the journey you’re on?
Where I’m linking up today.
Photo Friday Link-Up
Welcome back to our Photo Friday link-up! I’m so excited for y’all to join us again this week. Y’all have shared some truly incredible work. I am inspired every single week by all that you post.
This week’s most viewed link came from Kelly Del Valle at Swimming in Sunshine! Last week, Kelly brought us various mushrooms, and I was reminded that I have a few mushroom photos I love myself…and that with all our recent rains, there should be fungi popping up everywhere!
Our last photo added came from Hatton Gravely at FreshMom – a very sweet essay about capturing the moments of childhood and remaining present. If you haven’t had a chance yet, go back and check out some of the links from last week.
I can’t wait to see what you all have for us this week!