An Appreciation Of Being

I was surprised to learn that tulips are originally from Persia. They were brought to the Netherlands in the 17th century. The name comes from the word turban or “taliban,” the wraparound headdress worn by many Middle Eastern people. In Latin, it translates to “tulipa.” The flowers pictured here are a hybrid known as “World’s Favorite.” Linda planted the bulbs in the Fall, and when they came up in early April, she and I were stunned by their beauty. The picture in the catalog she purchased them from didn’t do justice to the reality. I couldn’t go past our kitchen window without looking out to admire them. One morning when the sun raked across the crimson and yellow heads with the leaves not yet fully illuminated I planned to photograph them the next day. I sat on a cushion to get the low angle but it was worth it.

When the tulips matured, Linda put one of them in a vase and set it in the living room. Seeing the striations and yellow “feathering” up close, I had to take it into the studio to get some feature shots.


In meditations the mind attempts to focus on a point—a mantra or the breath. Contemplations focus the attention on a theme that’s allowed to unfold or develop. Both are mental exercises. There are some instances however, when words are inadequate, even get in the way. I wanted to use the tulip images for this blog, but when I thought of some themes none felt right. Rather than evoking thoughts, the images evoked feelings—mostly a stream of Wow’s! When that happens—typically in the presence of awesome natural beauty—I purposefully relinquish words and downshift from “head” to “heart” mode. To affect this shift I use the little phrase “I rest now in the silent truth of Being.” Without words that typically identify, describe or analyze, the heart seems to envelop the subject and be fully present with it—like a loving hug of appreciation. So I offer these images, less as a contemplation and more as an invitation to appreciate the Beingness represented here. Gratitude as well for their beauty and the gift of photography as a medium for sharing that this magnificent being up close.

The white heart on the above petal was actually there. I didn’t notice it until I looked closely to see how I wanted to photograph these petals. Those in front had dropped off.

A little research later on turned up the fact that florists consider tulips to generally symbolize fame and perfect love. “Fame?”

  • Red tulips mean “believe me” and are a declaration of true love.
  • Variegated tulips mean “you have beautiful eyes.”
  • Yellow tulips mean “there’s sunshine in your smile” and cheerful thoughts.
  • Cream colored tulips mean “I will love you forever.”
  • White tulips symbolize heaven, newness and purity.
  • Purple tulips symbolize royalty.
  • Pink tulips mean affection and caring. 
  • Orange tulips mean energy, enthusiasm, desire, and passion.

There is nothing to seek and find, for there is nothing lost. Relax and watch the ‘I am.’ Reality is just behind it. Keep quiet, keep silent; it will emerge or, rather, it will take you in.

Sri Nisargadatta Maharaja

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