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Posts tagged ‘Thinking’

Musing on the Seashore

I found myself on Monday morning sitting by the lapping shore of the Mediterranean, which was softly sweeping golden currents of calm, watery loveliness onto the freshly wet sand. The sun was warm despite the winter, and across the vertical column of light reflected over the water, small sardine fishing boats glided slowly into harbour to unload their night’s catch. I was lucky. A quick weekend at my family home in Marbella coincided with a few bursts of sunshine, while back in London, Monday’s regular commuter stream was being battered by arctic winds and snow showers in some 20 degrees less than I enjoyed back on that seashore.

As the water licked the beach’s edge, giving temporary glimmer to all the stones and shells it passed over, those who like me value the early light of daybreak took a similar stroll along the sand, an excitable dog invariably at their side (at least when it was not jumping in the waters, who teased with their swift withdrawal from shore line back towards the mass of sea). One such passer-by approached me, laughing apologetically for her dog who, nuzzling my side with his freshly wet face, seemed to sense that I was, at that moment, all at one with the sea which so delighted him.


I not only took time to contemplate my luck at enjoying this transformative moment of winter sunshine; I also reflected upon the very accessible humanity which you can find amongst those who live in the sun, and in alignment with nature. In Spain especially, where the golden warmth of sun graces the country on most days of the year, there is an intrinsic approachability and outwards civility to everyone you meet. Strangers greet you like members of their family. Passers-by exchange not merely a glance but a comment on the beauty of the day. My time living in Mallorca open my soul to the kind of embrace of humanity I found in the Spanish. Now back in London, when I’m on the tube, and in the angry streets of the city, I feel the need to hide away that recharged humanity, in a place where smiles are too often met by scowls and courtesy left for others to administer.

Circumstances are so often the source of our mood and our civility. But as that moment in the sun reminded me, we should all take time out to smile, give and share with others, even when the demands of the daily grind render this difficult.

© Nicholas de Lacy-Brown and The Daily Norm, 2011-2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Life lessons from a rose at its best

I’ve always thought that a rose is at its very best just before it dies. When in bud a rose is elegant; almost like a young girl ready to ripen into the fulness of her adult beauty. When it starts to open, the flower begins to form a pleasing curved shape, almost like a small teacup, delicately scooping up and inwards, before spreading outwards again opening into a multi layered, but still complex bundle of petals. But my favourite stage is the point just before a rose begins to die, when its petals have spread to their widest in an attempt to gather as much possible light and air. It is at this stage that the shape and the fullness of the rose is at its most sumptuous and generously bounteous. All of its multiple petals have curved outwards showing the rich layering of its structure, like a dense lacy undergarment from the Victorian age, and it’s cupcake shape has spread further resembling more of a regal crown with its abundant beauty spread wide to capture the widest admiring audience.

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But as beautiful as the rose is at this stage, you know that it is but days away from death and decay; when the edges of those sumptuously soft petals begin to turn, go brown and shrivel, until the petals start falling one by one, unveiling beneath their elegant cluster the uglier stamen at the flower’s centre.

It was as I was staring, enchanted, by a beautiful bunch of orangey-peach roses in my lounge the other day that I contemplated this life cycle, admiring both the beauty of the roses as the whole bunch had expanded into a sea of mango-coloured wonder, but also reflecting, somewhat sadly, that this array of perfectly placed colour is but a transient creation, soon to shrivel up and diminish. But what it also made me realise is that while on the one hand it seems ironic that something can be at its most beautiful when it is at its closest to death, there is also a life lesson to be learnt here: that nothing lasts for ever, and happiness, joy, and beauty are all things which are transient. If that isn’t a reason to enjoy life to the full, and to reflect upon and appreciate the best of every moment, at every opportunity, I don’t know what is.

All photos and written content are strictly the copyright of Nicholas de Lacy-Brown © 2014 and The Daily Norm. All rights are reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of the material, whether written work, photography or artwork, included within The Daily Norm without express and written permission from The Daily Norm’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.