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Until You Look Again
It's one of the most humbling experiences a city-dweller can have: gardening. I'd volunteered to work in the community garden, so there I was on a Sunday morning, crouched in the dirt, hopping up every few minutes to find someone to ask, "Sorry, this is so embarrassing, but is this a weed? Is this a plant? Or a weed? Looks kind of planty? Wait, I mean weedy?" By the end of my two-hour-long shift, though, I was already seeing things differently: noticing a spriggy vine of weediness from across the garden patch; a rustling in the purple bushes I realized was a steady stream of visiting butterflies.
These are the moments we need, when you look at a thing long enough to see what it really is. As in these otherworldly shots of migrating butterflies on Environmental Graffiti: seeming at first to be a tree branch, or a smattering of leaves, the swarms of color reveal themselves to be instead bouquets of butterflies, masses of monarchs, and reason enough to look closely.
Visit Environmental Graffiti for more amazing images of these surreal butterfly swarms. Suggested listening while viewing:Muriel Rukeyser reading her poem "The Speaking Tree": "The trunk of the speaking tree looks like a tree-trunk / Until you look again...It calls your name." What else is calling our names, if only we would listen? What else could we see if we looked, looked again?
Instant Inspiration: Photographs of Trees
Breathing Space: Favorite Places on Earth
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