Water Lily, Viele Pond
I wasn't here to shoot flowers, but opportunist that I am, when the flower spoke I listened. I looked up genus and species and all the scientific information on water lilys. The Latin classification Nymphaeaceae was too detached for my subject, alive and glowing on the dark water kept cool by the shade of the plants.
The state of Andhar Pradesh, India, uses the water lily as a symbol of purity and peace. In ancient Egypt it symbolized the cycle of life, death & rebirth. There are stories: A witch turns a prince's beloved into a water lily in the fairy tale of that name; Wordsworth's "The Egyptian Maid" depicts the love and loss of a goddess in the form of a lily. A Brazilian girl drowns swimming to her warrior, who cannot bring her back to life but in his sadness, memorializes her as the queen of the river--a water lily. When the flower opens, the petals spiral upward, promise lifting the heart within. Tethered, lily and pad float together. But too soon, it's over, the blossom dies and sinks into darkness. Life, love, and loss. Even in the Tamil culture, poets use the water lily to symbolize the grief of separation. Fitting. Sometimes we humanize. My flower was more than a specimen, it was in bloom.