The zinnias are blooming again, and this makes me ridiculously happy. An unassuming flower, there’s just something about them that I love.
Last year, during the pandemic, there seemed to be a shortage of certain seeds. I hardly minded the sparse selection of vegetable seed packets, but when I couldn’t find zinnia seeds, I was hugely disappointed. My daughter and I planted what we could and resigned ourselves to embracing what we had. But then, around mid-summer, a few zinnias started popping their beautiful heads through the soil. I wasn’t sure if they were zinnias at first, not until I saw their buds. But, sure enough, the zinnias were blooming. Apparently, they had reseeded themselves which is not something I knew these annuals would do.
Fast forward to this past spring, and I was a little late getting around to anything garden-related, but was confident I’d find zinnia seeds. Unfortunately, they weren’t at the local shop where we do our spring garden shopping. Probably sold out since I was late getting there, I didn’t even bother to ask. I looked online but never bought any seeds just figuring it was too late for planting anyway.
And then. Then, a couple weeks ago, the zinnias started popping their beautiful heads through the soil. Again. They did it again! They reseeded themselves. Another happy dance. But also, something quieter within me. A sort of reverence. A reverence for this sweet, unassuming flower and for the remarkable ways of nature.
It’s with this in mind that I bow to the zinnias these days, camera in hand, making images I can enjoy in the months to come. Long after the last bloom and the last hard frost, I’ll have these images.
The images in this post were shot with my macro lens which means extra time and care was taken with each shot. Shooting macro requires an extra dose of stillness and quiet that I find unique to this type of photography. Usually I bring the flowers indoors as any breeze will create blur/movement in the photo. In macro photography, everything is exaggerated—scale, light, movement—and this intensity is reflected in the photographer’s need to be extra still, extra quiet and, dare I say, extra reverent.
A macro lens seems perfectly suited to capture the quiet joy I feel when in the presence of my zinnias. I do a quiet, happy dance within my heart, holding a deep gratitude for the beauty of nature and for the art of photography as a means of stepping deeply into beauty in a unique way.
Whatever you’re shooting these days, I hope you feel joy and reverence too. I hope you’re doing a happy dance with your choice of subject. I hope you take a few moments to bow your head in reverence.
Life is pretty grand.