take a closer look


I’ve been looking at flowers this week.

In particular, I’ve been looking at white flowers. And even more specifically, I’ve been looking at small white flowers.

I haven’t identified them all but the photos here are examples of these small white flowers. Except for the duplicate of elder flowers that heads up the post, they are all different species.

Small white spring flowers on shrub

I know that I’ve seen elder blossom and guelder roses. And I think perhaps some of the small white flowers on shrubs are cotaneaster blossom.

But quite whether the wild umbellifers are cow parsley or hogweed, or something else entirely, I may never know.

Guelder rose flowers

I’ve also been looking back through old notebooks and found some notes I wrote when I did a writing and mindfulness workshop some years ago and we were told to

“Try to see something new in the familiar things.”

Elder flowers

More than that, we were encouraged to

“Think like a dog who sees everything as if for the first time, and is excited and enthusiastic about it.”

Cow parsley flowers
I’m more a cat person, really, and find the unvarying and unqualified enthusiasm of dogs somewhat tiring.

Even so, I do believe that there is a potential to find something new in many sights and scenes that we regularly take for granted. And I believe that most natural things display some individuality if you look closely.

Small white spring flowers on shrub

As children, we are taught that each snowflake is unique. Some of us then look closely at snowflakes at every opportunity we have for the rest of our lives just to see if the scientists might be wrong.

I don’t remember anyone suggesting that the hundreds of tiny flowers that grow from a single stalk are as individual as snowflakes. And yet, having spent some time recently looking at small white flowers, I think that might be the case.

Hogweed flowers

Author: don't confuse the narrator

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

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