There’s a purposeful blindness that centers our perception. I went out into the garden that hugs the south side of the house. It tends to be a haven for butterflies, moths, and assorted flying bugs and beetles. Thankfully, the ravenous Japanese beetles have gone after decimating my lily collection over several years.
I go out with my camera into the adolescent growth which sways with a gangly awkwardness as I wade through it. Usually this is enough to send most winged beings flying for safer havens. But that’s only been my perception. Going over several pictures, I was amazed to find little bugs and beetles, ants and bees tucked away in the recesses of petals and leaves.
The first few shots of this bee balm caught the blossom and my little green friend didn’t appear to me until I stepped into the shadows and enlarged the shot. He (she?) must have been having a kindness practice day because when I turned back, he was still there, ready to pose in several more angles. He walked daintily across the petals and paused on the crest of the flower. It reminded me of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings; to walk on the earth as we would on lotus petals without crushing them.
It amazed me that he stayed for so long. Mostly, it amazed me that I had not seen him in the viewfinder the first time. And yet, it might have been a good thing because in the excitement of seeing that luminous green against the mouth-watering red, I might have become obsessed with getting the perfect picture and forgotten to be surprised by his tender relationship with the blossom.
Sometimes when we see everything, we miss what is important to truly see.