I don't know why I love this photo, but I do.
Perhaps it's the subject. Up until a few years ago, I could care less about shrubbery. My husband had picked up the set of six that used to adorn our front yard the year we moved in. I had been on a business trip when he went to the garden center. The biggest plant in my purview was a hosta in the shade garden on the side of our property.
Then I saw a lush green plant with giant puffs of blue flowers -- a hydrangea. I bought it. I planted it in the corner on the other side of our house from my giant hosta. I fussed over it. I clipped it's flowers. I dried them. I loved having big vases full of dried hydrangeas. I was in love with a plant.
When we put the fence in two years ago, the "nice" men destroyed my plant. There was no salvaging it.
For Mother's Day last year, the kids each bought me a new hydrangea. The one in the back didn't do so well. Something about not getting enough water or being pummeled by the football and the hose caddy and Lord knows what else. The one in our front yard survived - but did so with just a few puffs of flowers. I was hating the fence man.
Today, I have one set of skeletal remains of a long gone hydrangea in the backyard (aka dead wood.) In the front I have a plant that is larger than it had been a year ago and FULL of budding flowers. I took several photos as night was encroaching. The rain dotted leaf shown above is one of those.
This photo of the young flowers is another. Now pale green, these small flower clusters will grow blue before they begin to dry out and whither. We'll clip off the large groupings and hang them upside down to dry. We'll stick them in vases and we'll hold on tight to the remaining vestiages of summer even in the dead of winter.
I think that's what gets me in these photos. The reminder that we get to bring a little bit of the long, warm sunny days with us into the short, cold times. It's a reminder that even though we, as a family, have faced the loss of loved ones, stressful jobs, and fatigued bodies and souls, there is still sun. There is still bits of warmth and cheer - and those bits get bigger and bigger with each passing day. They grow. They evolve. They begin again. Over and over. Perpetual return of better times.