Tuesday, April 8, 2014

For the love of . . .

. . . a journey,

one by design and one a leap of faith.

A parallel journey of two thousand miles that began being carried by the breeze.


"All glory comes from daring to begin." - Eugene F Ware


Once upon a time . . . several years ago in a galaxy far, far away I bought a milkweed plant and patiently waited. Now, our mosquitoes get so bad here that sometimes in order to go out and tend to plants in the garden I would have to use a mosquito fogger. Little did I know at the time, but there were two caterpillars on that milkweed . . . they died . . . I felt horrible. And that was the end of that for that summer as I couldn't find any more milkweed.

Fast forward to last year when my metals instructor gave me some cuttings of her milkweed to root and then to hopefully plant. I had put them in some water in a bucket and crossed my fingers. I kept checking on them but no roots, and they weren't looking very good. They had become infested with aphids and so I had decided to just pitch them and go buy some milkweed from my nursery, when I discovered to my surprise, two monarch caterpillars. A couple of more plants, complete with a few more caterpillars and some eggs and I had the start of a new journey.

At about the same time our family would begin a different journey when our son became very ill and eventually diagnosed with a form of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The caterpillars weren't a coincidence, but a reminder that I don't have to travel two thousand miles to be transformed. . . I just need faith, and it only need be the size of a mustard seed.

I have loved everything about this process, this journey . . .starting with this seed and the beautiful way it was designed to blow in the breeze. To be carried away from the plant and to multiply. And, grow they will where they land.

{kk -revolution and just a touch}

Once a flower on the plant is pollinated it will go to seed and grow a pod. This plant definitely had some pollinating visitors. It's important to leave the pod on the plant until the seem opens up or they may not be
viable seeds when planted. The pod will start to change color and texture, but you will want to watch closely
unless you don't mind seeds blowing and growing everywhere. 



They produce their seeds in follicles that are arranged in an overlapping manner. When the seeds mature the pod will begin to open and as the silky white filament-like hairs become more dry, the pod will explode and the seeds . . . carried away by the wind.











  

And from that seed this beautiful plant will grow. There are more than 100 species of milkweed suited for different growing conditions. Here in Texas the Asclepias Curassavica is the species that I get from my nursery, also known as Tropical Milkweed.



When life throws those curve balls, and we know it does, we need to be able to go with the flow. More times than not, these milkweed seed will find themselves quite a distance from where they started, but will grow where they land anyway, because the monarch depends on it.

And often, when we find ourselves in chaos, far from where we started and our lives will depend on being able to grow where we land. And I don't know about you, but sometimes my first reaction is to find a way around the chaos when really, going "through" it is where the real growth is.

Sometimes going through it is the shorter distance than trying to find a way around it.
That, and a leap of faith the size of a mustard seed.

Stay tuned, next up more about the plant and an egg. . . here.

Happy Tuesday,
Love, Kim


Sharing with Texture Tuesday, Sweet Shot Tuesday




42 comments:

Sheila said...

This is a beautiful post Kim. Such a difficult journey - told so beautifully. Lovely images too!

Adrienne said...

So lovely. I'm feeling that faith/circumstance/learn from nature connection in a big way right now - this is such a wonderful example of how all those elements come together as we stumble along our journey. And grow. (galaxy far far away had me chuckling at my desk!) Hugs.

abrianna said...

Beautiful shots and thoughts. We had so much chaos in our lives a couple of years ago that we are still recovering. A move to a place we don't like has not helped.

Liz said...

Wow!! Such a timely post to read, Kim!!
In my on again, off again blogging I must have missed the news about your son. That's very difficult to live with. I do hope his treatment is well and truly sorted by now.

My genetic arthritic condition is one that hits in teenage years and degenerates progressively from there. I have passed the gene on to 3 of my 4 children. My 2 girls are the only ones with a diagnosis so far. My son has had symptoms for a few years but he refuses to see a rheumatologist... he doesn't want the same news.
It's been hard for my girls and they have both had the same issues I did with finding the right balance of treatment.

Thinking of you and yours. xxoo

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Yes, we were/are on the same wavelength today Kim. Your milkweed blooms are very different than ours... I would offer to send you some seeds from here if it would help. Let me know. Gorgeous images and thoughts my friend. xo

Michelle B said...

I love your photos of the fuzzy seeds! All the fine details that need to come into alignment for the butterfly to simply be, are amazing. Your family is in my thoughts as you go through your journey.

pragmaticsoul said...

Beautiful shots of those milkweed seedpod! I pray that your son will respond well to the treatment. It is a difficult journey, so "pray, hope, and don't worry" as St. Pio had said..

Kathryn said...

I love the images you've shared here and how they relate to your story . . . your journey and that of your family. It hasn't been an easy time for you all and you constantly amaze me with your strength, determination, love and outlook. Keep on my friend, you rock.

Barbara said...

A wonderful post and delightful images!

Sending you sparkles of faith and hands full of strength, to accompany you on this difficult journey.

Sylvia said...

A lovely story, beautifully written, Kim !
Gorgeous photos too !
Thinking of you and your family on this journey ...
Nice week,
Sylvia

Brenda said...

Gorgeous, silky, delicate threads which you have captured in so many amazing and creative ways.

Sandra said...

Such beautiful seed shots. I especially love that first one!

Tamar SB said...

I have loved being along for the journey - you have such a green thumb and a heart for animals and the world!

The Wandering Shutter Fly said...

Such a beautiful post and beautiful mystical magical shots!
I do know what you mean about the issue of confronting the chaos we experience in life vs avoiding it..
Not facing the situation now means in the end we might pay dearly :-(

Christian WeiƟ said...

Bretty photos, they look like small sculptures.

Petra said...

Kim, I love the textured photo. Without the hint that the other photos give, I wouldn't have figured out what the captured object was. The details of the seeds are truly beautiful!

Cathy H. said...

Ah, Kim! Such a touching story! I knew of your love for mildewed and butterflies, but I didn't know of it's beginning. I'll be looking for the next installment! These images are all amazing!

Beverly said...

Your thoughts, words and photos are always uplifting, and inspiring. Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing!! xx

Jeanne said...

Kim I just love this! first of all, your photographs are just stellar, and what you have said is awesome. This should be a series that is published. So many people out there that need this messagge!. Beautiful

molly said...

These are amazing macro shots, the one of all the little seeds is truly fabulous

Mollyxxx

Carola Bartz said...

What a beautiful post, Kim.

Last year I had four milkweed plants, they flowered beautifully and the seedpods exploded the way they should - but so far I haven't discovered any new milkweed in my garden. I'm afraid the seeds went somewhere else...

Dotti said...

Yay! The journey begins again. So glad you're taking us along! Lovely photos of the process.

Sharon said...

These images are so beautiful and clear, especially the macro photos. And your writing is authentic and gentle. I know from our time in hospitals last year that a deeper joy comes on good days because we don't take anything for granted now. Delight is deeper because we know it's fragile. Praying for your family, Kim.

Nita Davis said...

Beautiful post Kim, both the sentiment and the photos. Well done! Have a great week.

Anita Johnson said...

I just can't wait for spring. I love this story!

Linda R said...

WOW! I love this post my friend.

All we need is a little faith.

Hugs~

Prairie Jill said...

Gorgeous images, especially that first one!

you-wee because said...

Awesome series of photographs, Kim! Who needs cherry tree blossoms when having the chance to photograph such fluffy treasures of nature??? ;-)
I really love your seeds hovering around weightlessly. Even during my time as a helicopter pilot (long time ago I flew a BELL UH-1D) I was not able to hover that gracefully like the seeds in your photographs... ;-)
Uwe.

Viv@within the Frame said...

Beautiful your words and how pretty the milkweed is ! I don't know if we get it in the UK.

Donna Hopkins said...

Kim, I have taken photos of milkweed in various stages before but had not connected that they were the same plant. I thank you, not only for your beautiful photos, but also for the education in the nature of this plant. A meadow near my home will soon be filled with the flowering stage of this plant and the monarch butterflies will congregate for picture-taking. Can't wait.

Thank you for sharing your personal journey related to your son's diagnosis. We have experience first-hand the struggles associated with illness in a family - and the joys. As a former pediatric physical therapist, I can testify to the resilience of children and their amazing strength. Your loving attitude and faith will serve your family well.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

A beautiful story, complete with delicate and detailed photos. The beginning of a true adventure....

Sherri B. said...

Kim, your words touched me so deeply...and your images are beautiful! What a lovely post... <3

Susan said...

Such a beautiful story! The amazing journey of just one little milkweed seed…and also having the faith, the size of a mustard seed, is one Im reminded of everyday! Thanks for sharing words of wisdom and strength, and your photos are simply stunning!

Naquillity said...

so many beautiful photos and such a wonderfully written post. my daughter had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when growing up and eventually she outgrew it. lots of patience, therapy and alternatives (besides regular medicine) helped us through. she's now a healthy, young adult. learning to grow in your new situation or surroundings can be a beautiful but difficult thing to learn but when things measure out it's great. also wanted to add congratulations to you for the win on the quirky selfie. it was well deserved. have a great day~

EarlK said...

Fantastic photos and story. Actually, the photos are truly amazing. Beautiful.

The Artful Diva said...

all of these photos are fantastic. I especially like the movement in the first one.

shooter said...

A superb collection of shots, just love them.

Vicki Boster said...

So beautifully written----- and the photos are stunning. You've captured some magic in these pictures--
Love
Vicki

Sarah Carletti said...

So true! Love your images! Hugs.

Barb Brookbank said...

Your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes and I am in awe of your resilience. Wonderful thoughts and stunning images - I love those seedpods - fantastic.

Ross said...

Your shots are just stunning! Such a well written post as well.

Kimberly Vensel said...

Beautifully written post! And your pictures are stunning! It never ceases to amaze me how God creates things in such unique and special ways - just the way they need to be.

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