onwards and upwards – or downwards

Once again, I’ve been thinking of Dorothy Rose from the poem by Pauline Frances Camp.

For those who don’t know, Dorothy Rose was a little girl whose “turned-up nose” inspired her to adopt a positive attitude in life. (Read more about The Rhyme of Dorothy Rose, plus a lovely comment from one of PFC’s great grandchildren on the post Ever Upwards)

In general, I’m an optimist and agree that a positive attitude is a Good Thing. But, more and more, I realise that looking on the bright side isn’t really about looking upwards and overlooking the dirt and the nastiness of life. In fact, by ignoring the negative you can miss so many delightful things.

Sometimes, looking closely at the ugly can reveal such unexpected beauty as the mould on the strawberries in the photo at the top of the post.

I singularly failed to do it justice using my phone camera, but at least I focused my mind and have a memory of how well the fruit was adapting its camouflage to match the kitchen counter top.

mouldy strawberries

Particularly on bleak winter days, when the sky is a fairly nondescript shade of grey, there is little joy to be gleaned from looking upwards, but there is always the chance of discovering something unexpected at one’s feet.

abandoned mittens

A couple of years, the photos I’d taken of discarded, lost, and abandoned gloves led to the post Glove Story.

Today, though, my downcast eyes were startled to find snowdrops, far earlier in the year than I’d have expected.

Again, my photography hasn’t really done them justice. But, again, I noticed them and how they were growing in what appear to be quite discouraging conditions, as well as how they contrasted with the cracked paintwork. And I’ve made an effort to keep a hold on all this in my memory.


Perhaps it doesn’t matter at all whether you look up, down or sideways, as long as you remember to actually look at things.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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