Culture

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There are certainly many advantages to agriculture. At an early stage of our development… prehistory… we discovered how to raise certain grains and vegetables in order to provide sustenance for our lives… in order to provide a steady and reliable source of food without having to go out in the wilds, searching for roots and grains and hunting animals in order to maintain our existence.

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in nature, the cyclamen around the base of the tree

It was better that way, on a whole lot of levels. We had time to develop our intellect, to help our wives raise the children… and to help the children with their homework. It gave us more free time to draw images on the cave walls. Skeptics will comment, more time to plan wars and watch TV. But on the whole, we could all agree that there were benefits that came with agriculture.

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But it is characteristic of human nature, that the very same talents that enable us a taste of the sublime can also be used to undermine all that we value. In that context, our sages said that the same characteristics that lead us to monotheism, the belief in one god, also lead us to false gods and paganism. In the case of agriculture, at some point we started abusing the very land whose cultivation provided us sustenance, causing famine. In the past, we have poisoned our crops in order to make them inedible for pests, birds, and other competitors. And now, in this time in which we live, we are experimenting with the use of anti-biotics, and genetic engineering, and may do still greater damage to ourselves. It makes us wonder just how smart and stupid we can be at the same time. But from a religious point of view, one could say that no matter how clever we may be, we always find ourselves face to face with choice. And that choice is the most noble characteristic of man.

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new green grass after the rain

There is a flower that I love dearly. It is called cyclamen in English. In Hebrew we call the flower, rakefet. It is native to the middle east and Europe, and grows wild here. But it is also popular as a cultured flower, and sold in pots. The English call it ‘sowbread’, seemingly because pigs eat them. It is classified as a tuber, and has a root somewhat like a potato. Its petals are pink and white, and it is commonly eaten by caterpillars. The wildflower is frost hardy, and some can survive in -14 degrees centigrade. But the flowers sold in flower shops are unable to resist the frost. The cultured flowers can last quite a long time. But they’re not as delicate, nor as beautiful as the wild flower. Horticulture has managed to turn this wildflower into a domestic plant for our enjoyment. But the uncultured flower is a great pleasure to behold, though it appears for only a few days in the wild.

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This week, Janne and I took a trip to visit the ocean. On our way we stopped at a nature reserve, and saw many of the flowers scattered among the trees, sensitive and fragile, but growing freely. Their green lean leaves were a pleasure to behold… so much more delicate than those found in flower shops. Along the way, the valleys were often covered with fresh green grasses. Though we’re in the middle of winter, the recent rains, followed by bright sunny days, encouraged the plant life to surge, covering the terrain. As we descended the mountain, it grew warmer… turned into a beautiful spring day.

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71 responses to “Culture

  1. I love these flowers… We call them rabbit ear :) Beautiful photographs dear Shimon, Thank you, have a nice weekend, love, nia

    • Rabbit ears sounds like a perfect name for this flower. I think I will always think of them that way, now that I’ve heard the name. Thank you very much, Nia, and my best wishes to you too, for a beautiful weekend.

  2. So many interesting and important ideas here. I was only thinking this morning that the more technologized we become, the more in danger we are of becoming rather stupid. This in the sense that we can forget to access our intuition and discretion, or indeed conscience. Our responses become ‘blunted’ by too much man-made stuff. Having studied prehistory I tend to stand up for the hunters rather than the farmers in this regard. One of the striking ironies about say, the Mbuti (Pygmies) of the Congo, or the so-called Aborigines of Australia (and I’m talking about their traditional life here) is that not only do they get by with the fewest artifacts, but to them the world they inhabit is sacred. All of it. Their thinking and beliefs revolve around revering the land that provides them with food. In other words, even their mundane practice is filled with meaning.

    But then, as you say, humans have choice. Things can start going wrong. There are factions and quarrelling. The hunting is bad. At such times, then, the elders call for ceremony, in the Mbuti’s case weeks of nightly praise singing and dancing for the forest that sustains them. It brings everyone back to mindfulness. It fills them with the sense of creation and the creator. I suppose it is about respect. Your story of the cyclamen is very telling. Isn’t it part of our endless desire to possess things? It is not enough that the beautiful wild cyclamens can survive the cold and bring us huge pleasure when we come upon on them while out exploring the winter wilds. We have to tinker with them so we can bring them indoors. So we can ‘have’ them. ‘Progress’ and ‘civilisation’ can be dangerous things. We need to handle them with care – not let them get the better of us!

    • I agree with you completely, Tish on the subject of intuition. We human beings easily forget that in many cases, our use of technology is connected to a great dependence on the intelligence of a very few, and that in essence, it is magic… because we don’t really understand how the things work. Most of the people who use a cell phone or a smart phone couldn’t repair or build such a thing to save their lives. But we have some sort of collective pride in the accomplishments of all of humanity. The problem is that as we rely more and more on technological magic we become more disconnected from the wisdom of our own ancient sources. And in certain situations, that does make us quite stupid. What you say about hunters makes a lot of sense. Only a few generations ago, people were much more aware of, and in touch with what they ate. Now everything is automatic and hidden from the eye. And I have the feeling that we are accepting certain conditions that we wouldn’t be able to stomach if we really examined them and understood them. It’s a problem of awareness from an unexpected front. Thank you very much for your comment.

  3. A lot of things can be inspiring, so inspiration can come from almost everything (if we have the will) – flowers like these are very inspiring – very well captured… :-)

    • I agree with you ledrakenoir, inspiration can come from every direction. But certainly, there is a lot of inspiration in nature. I find nothing so healing as a walk in nature as frequently as possible. Thanks for the comment.

  4. Lovely to see the Cyclamen growing wild, that last pic is really beautiful, places where anything can grow wild are shrinking daily around the world.
    Yes, progress is great for making life easier but can and is going in several dangerous directions.
    I’m glad you and Janne got to the ocean, I smiled at the two of stopping off ….again….xxx

    • Unfortunately it’s true that there are less and less undisturbed areas of nature. We have succeeded so well in turning the planet into our own little playground, that we’ll have to wake up quickly, and start working to preserve other life forms. And yes, it is very good to go off and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells, and though I’ve moved back to the city, I think this experience has renewed my enthusiasm for adventure. Thanks so much, Dina. xxx

  5. To see cyclamen growing in the wild, naturalised must have been a joy. Like many others I have a few in pots and a few around the base of a tree in the garden – they give me colour and hope during these darker winter days. But you are right, me meddle and fix and fiddle with things until they no longer work – especially in agriculture – I just think of Monsanto and what they are doing with seeds and how so many of the worlds farmers are struggling let alone the depopulation of bee colonies (largely due to pesticides). Humans have amazing abilities but it’s how we use those abilities – whether it’s for profit or for benefit that makes all the difference.

    • Unfortunately, Claire, sometimes we have new innovations and inventions that are completely innocent and intended only for benefit, and they too create a lot of harm. It seems like human progress is constantly speeding up. And often it takes a long time till we understand all the consequences of the changes we make in our lives and in the arrangements of society. It seems to me that we need more institutions to study and analyze these changes that are going on in our lives so that we’ll understand how they might influence our lives and society in the long run. And offer us a bit of intelligent feed back. I’m not against change. I’m sure it’s a part of life itself. But we have to work on awareness a bit more. Thanks for your comment.

  6. You captured so much with this post. As a farmer’s daughter, I can so relate to the amount of time we spent together as family, how my parents were together all the time, how we worked together on the farm– long, hard hours, but reaped the rewards and shared the hardships. When I went to college, people couldn’t believe I was a farmer’s daughter.. there seemed to be an incredulous stigma about the profession. And few really know where their food is coming from.

    • Yes, I think you had a great advantage growing up on the farm. It’s true that there are a lot of negative stereotypes about farming. But it is truly tragic that we are so unaware of where our food is coming from and how its prepared and grown. It is one of the most basic things in our lives, and like so much else, it is taken for granted. And now that food is grown on a really massive scale, I’m afraid that there are some mistakes made that we should really be aware of. Thanks, Lisa. Always very good to hear from you.

  7. I have many house plants in my Colorado home. I love the energy and the oxygen that they give to our enclosed environment, but it’s true, Shimon. As we cultivate and domesticate, we lose some of the essence of that thing growing wild in its native habitat.

    What a joy to see wild Cyclamen captured so beautifully through your lens. And those lovely green grasses in the morning light.

    • Yes, I just used these flowers as an example of how culture can sometimes devalue things we really love. But I agree that it is wonderful to be able to include beautiful plants within our home environment, especially when the weather is harsh outside. Very glad you enjoyed the pictures, Cathy. Thanks.

  8. Ah, Shimon! Just as we in the North head into another bone-chilling cold spell, you warm my heart with these beautiful cyclamen and their reminder that the circle is turning towards renewal and warmth, whether I feel it or not…I agree that human choice is a powerful gift. I wish we, as a species, would also recognize that informed choice, based upon the recognition that we are a part of nature rather than its creator and sole manager, would be more frequently and intentionally practiced, and that we would envision and understand ourselves as temporary participants and caregivers rather than dominating “owners” of the Earth.

    I am so happy you and Janne stopped to drink in the beauty and to share it with us so generously. Thank you!

    • Very glad you enjoyed these pictures from our relatively easy winter here in the Mediterranean. I know that you, like me, are very aware of how essential it is to be in tune with nature. And of course, in order to have viable choice, we need to be really aware of what goes on around us. It is all too easy to let others make life ‘easier’ for us. And sometimes we humans are too enthusiastic about new tools and innovations. I often think about the old story of the sorcerer’s apprentice, and it seems to me that we are all suffering from too much dependence on technology. Thanks you so much for joining us in our happiness. Always very good to hear from you, Kitty.

  9. A beautiful and thought-provoking post as always. Thank you for sharing the pictures of the grass and the flowers—it’s so refreshing to see some color and life in the middle of winter.

    • Yes, we are very lucky to have a relatively easy winter here in the middle east. Though it is quite cold in Jerusalem, just a ride of about an hour takes us to a warmer environment. And it’s a great pleasure. Thank you very much for your comment, Kari Ann.

  10. I love cyclamens, but have never been able to grow them indoors. Your picutres of these flowers in their wild state are simply lovely. Thank you very much for sharing.

    I too wonder whether mankind has reached a point when, after so much progress, we are all receding now. There is an awful lot of stupidity all over the world, including genetic engineered plants. I won’t touch them. I buy organic.

    • Up until now, I haven’t been buying organic. And for most of my life, I loved eating meat. But in recent years, I’ve begun to re-examine a lot of things I took for granted, and I’ve had a change of heart about a lot of them. The more I hear about the way meat is grown, the less attractive it seems to me. I don’t try to convince others. Because I remember very well my passion for it. But just for myself, I find it more satisfying to prepare and eat simple food that was grown in the old fashioned way. Very glad you enjoyed the pictures, Fatima. I do like to see flowers indoors as well. But there is an exhilaration about wildflowers that always excites me.

  11. These wild cyclamen are really beautiful… remind me those that my father cared behind the old family home, in the shade of a pine, half a century ago…
    Thank you to bring us several very deep thoughts… which for many young people, unfortunately, are no longer reason of deep emotions.
    I don’t know whether to believe in a God or multiple Gods make a big difference… I know, I know, it’s always my usual belief that man needs more than a “god” in which he shall put his hopes! The Buddhist philosophy (of life) gave me the serenity that I haven’t received from my beloved Catholic Jesus who for me is a great Buddha… I don’t think of being an heretic if I try to love every living creature with deep respect. The problem is that more and more technological advancements distances men from the proper Path… and we can’t do anything to change this plague.
    I wish you a lovely week end dear Shimon :-) claudine

    • You bring up a very interesting subject, Claudine. As a young man, I was very interested in religious traditions… other than what I had grown up with. And I came to realize that though there are some sharp differences, there are also certain general ideas and understandings that are universal. At one time, most of the people on this earth believed in many gods. But with monotheism, with just one god, there were many faces to that god as well. Nowadays, with the great tolerance in the west towards pluralism, we are seeing a return to multiple gods… if only because people speak of multiple truths. I don’t try to convince others. But in my heart, I believe that there is only one truth. And that a lot of it is beyond us in any case. And we can only grasp little bits and pieces of it. But that the understanding that there is only one truth, and that everything fits together in the end, and that all of the world is interconnected, can help us come to terms with some of the great riddles of our existence. I agree with you that loving every creature with deep respect is the highest level of awareness, and I try to work towards that level of awareness. Thank you so much for your comment.

  12. I love the line “choice is the most noble characteristic of man”. You took agriculture to a new level. I happily enjoy your ability!

    • Thank you very much, Bob. Yes, I have a great regard for choice… and sometimes it turns into an irrelevant exercise (as when we try to choose between 50 meaningless TV programs). But when we reach a level of awareness, it is choice that gives character to our lives.

  13. What we call “wildness” has such a strong voice. I think about the tales you tell lately, Shimon. Moving from your home of many years into more than new surroundings. I wonder at the beauty of the cyclamen you’ve pictured here….in a place of their own choosing. I’ve enjoyed the intricacies of your musings here. Peace Shimon.

    • Thank you very much, JH. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you speak of “a place of their own choosing”. We can take life forms out of their context and arrange them for our own enjoyment. But when we study and learn to love them as they grow in nature, we can appreciate them on another level.

  14. The cyclamen is one of my very favorite plants. My mother used to plant them every winter. I planted them in the front of the new house the first year I was here. They are the most delicate and surprising plants I think I ever saw. Perhaps, we value most those things that are elusive like the cyclamen. I can only imagine coming upon them in the wild. What a joy! Your photographs do them more than justice. I was happy to imagine you and Janne on a happy to the beach. Stopping on the way to enjoy the cyclamen and the snapshot-spring of a green field flooded with warm sunlight. It was a good day, Shimon, and you made me feel as if I went along with you! :-)

    • Yes, it was a very good day, George. And a great pleasure to visit the sea again. One of my problems, when I take a trip, is that I keep stopping along the way. Sometimes it feels like a miracle if I actually get where I was intending to go. But it was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed myself every step along the way. Thanks for coming along. Your company is always welcome.

  15. I will quote Cathy, above: “What a joy to see wild Cyclamen captured so beautifully through your lens. And those lovely green grasses in the morning light.” Today is one of those days when my words are skittering away from me, but your post, and the photos, filled me with a peaceful energy, so for that, I thank you. I agree that we insert our “knowledge” into the wonders of nature entirely too much, and by doing so, we subtract from the beauty therein, and yet, I can’t deny that I gain some enjoyment from bringing the outdoors inside, in small incremental bits, in an effort to bridge the gap.

    I would do better to get out there and see nature in its natural habitat, rather than to be sitting here, gazing upon your beautiful photos, living the experience through your lens, but for now, in this time and space, I can only be grateful that you are willing to share what you see; otherwise, my life would be devoid of knowing of this beautiful treasure. Lovely flower, the cyclamen, or as you would call it, rekefet. Alive in every way.

    • I really appreciate your comment, N. Because I read your post about struggling with moods (even though I didn’t leave a comment), and I understand how difficult it is at times. In fact, I identified with you so strongly, that I had nothing to say. But I think what you mentioned in this comment is very true. How good it would be if you could just go out for a walk in nature… get a little exercise, and enjoy a different context and the beauties of nature. I’ve found that that does the most for me when I’m down. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, though. And I’m hoping that you will soon feel refreshed by whatever path you choose. My very best wishes to you always.

      • Shimon, I appreciate you making the reference to the post about my recent struggles with dark thoughts, and I especially appreciated the “I identified with you so strongly, that I had nothing to say.” That’s often exactly how I feel when I read the words of someone who has cut a bit too close to the bone, and it leaves me unable to comment, even though those moments of connection are sometimes the strongest bond we share. A glimpse of a reflection in the mirror, and we turn away.

        As is often the case, you have been on my mind of late, as I imagine you to be exploring your new surroundings and settling into your new home. That opportunity to discover new nooks and crannies is a treasure and a gift, and one that I know you take care to appreciate. I hope this won’t sound presumptuous, as that is not my intent at all, but I feel extremely proud of you that you made the decision to move back to Jerusalem. You listened to your heart and took action, and in changing your surroundings, you brought a part of yourself alive again. That takes courage, and it gives me a great sense of adventure, although I know it also comes with its own set of challenges. But you took action, and that is something I applaud. Always.

        The other thing about you (among many things) that often comes to mind is how you integrate nature and photography into your daily routine. As you know, I have a very large dog (and a small one) living with me, and they would both benefit from a walk in a natural setting, rather then being constricted to a fenced space when they go outdoors. Of course, it would also benefit my own health and well-being to be out there seeing and smelling and touching nature. My physical restrictions present a barrier to my ability to walk freely in nature, but I’ve been contemplating and ruminating on how I might find a way to overcome the obvious, and still manage to enjoy the pleasures of a simple walk. In fact, I’ve been studying on it for quite a while now, and hope to be in a position to take action soon. I don’t want to get stuck in the envisioning stage and never make it to the action stage. I have such admiration for those that take action, and in that vein, I’d like to join the club.

        Thank you, again, for your non-comment reference, as it gives my heart a gentle nudge in the right direction. Today is just another day in a season of winter, and given time, God-willing, the days will turn to summer.

        • Actually, moving back to Jerusalem wasn’t as simple as I thought it would be. My new landlord objects to the fact that I smoke, and so I felt I had to go looking for still another place… Can you imagine? After years of stability, I am hopping from one place to another… really getting the taste of impermanence. And also learning what it’s like to be a tenant… and not owning my own home. It seems an important part of my ongoing education, though it can be quite uncomfortable at times. I do hope you will find the way to enjoy a pleasurable walk as part of your daily experience. And yes, winter is a an integral part of life, and we have to learn to get through it. My best wishes to you.

          • I know you will keep us posted as you find yet another spot in which to hang your hat … best wishes in your continued search. Would love for you to find a nook that welcomes you in all your entirety, and surrounds you will safety and adventure and comfort. :-)

            • Thank you for your blessing, N. What keeps me going is the knowledge that life itself is an adventure… and I figure it’s still better to be alive than dead… we get enough of the latter later.

  16. Lots to think about Shimon. A pleasure as always to read your words and these beautiful pictures of these wild cyclamen which we only see in pots in the UK as houseplants, are such a bonus!

    • Thank you Chillbrook. I too enjoy seeing flowers inside the home. But how wonderful it is, once in a while, to see them as they grow in nature. Very glad you enjoyed the pictures.

  17. I like the cyclamen, yet I’ve only ever seen it in pots, never wild. In part of our communal gardens where I live, we have some narcissus planted and they have self-seeded and are spreading nicely that way. I might ask the gardener to plant some cyclamen too. Genetic engineering and food — we already know that if you eat hormone-boosted chicken you are also eating that growth hormone and it makes you big/obese; we see it everywhere as lovers of fast food, eg McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and so on. It’s hard to avoid when eating out, especially if you don’t know whether it’s organic or not. Perhaps it’s best to avoid meat altogether (saying this as an almost-vegetarian)! ;)

    • For years, I thought the cyclamen were only found in our area of the world, But since having published photos of them, I realize that they are found elsewhere as well, usually as cultured flowers. Of course, every environment has its own lovely natural fruit and flowers. But the world is becoming more connected all the time, and so we’ve gotten used to seeing and eating what is found in other locales. There are a lot of advantages to this interchange… and some disadvantages too. But as long as we’re aware of what’s happening around us, we can choose the good and avoid the bad. I think the hormone boosted meat is really a danger, but it is nice eating fresh vegetables out of season. I myself was always an enthusiastic meat eater. But in recent years I’ve found myself more of a vegetarian despite myself. Thanks so much for your comment, Janina.

  18. What is it about humans that the good is taken and abused? And this appears to be more and more prevalent as we have “progressed” through time.
    I hope you have enjoyed your visit to the ocean, and had a restful weekend.

    • It was a wonderful trip, and we’ve had a very good weekend, Angeline. I think we all tend to take the good things for granted… and complain about what bothers us. Sometimes it takes an effort to really focus on the good we enjoy and appreciate it. Thank you very much for your comment.

  19. How lovely to see this delicate and yet hardy flower growing as it was intended in the wild.
    Yes as clever as we humans can be we are also equally stupid and I believe much of our stupidity emanates from arrogance. The misguided belief that we are in control!
    Thank you for the beautiful and thought provoking words.
    I saw little daisies growing in the grass outside my flat……very early in the year.:) x

    • Yes, how delightful it is to see a daisy plant itself right in the middle of the grass… sort of melts the heart. Thank you for that image, Janet. As for the arrogance and the stupidity… I think they go together, both ways… And when we catch ourselves at it, we’re usually so embarrassed we forget about it immediately… at least, I do. We’re not in control. That’s for sure. I’m more aware of that these days, than I was before. But we keep trying to get it straight… and keeping our eyes open, and looking for the good helps a lot. Appreciate your comment. xxx

  20. simply wonderful… I love wild flowers! :) Shalom and have a serene week!

  21. You know, Shimon, my maternal grandmother grew up on a farm. Yes, it’s true. They were German Jews on that side and I still have no idea how they ended up where they did in the States, but that farm and farm-life were all my grandmother would talk about and she was a better person for it. I think you’re right: we progress in a way that we take 2 steps forward and 1 step back in my mind. There’s something missing nowadays and I fear it’s gone forever–lost in this world of technology and urbanization. I do know the EU has much tighter restriction on GMOs, etc. and hope Israel has followed suit. As usual, we’re years behind in the US and it’s all rather frightful.

    Beautiful photos as always; I was never one to stop and smell the roses much, but love the colors in your favorite flower.

    Leah xx

    • I’ve always had a very romantic attraction to the farm life. Maybe because I’ve lived all my life as a city boy. But I did have the pleasure of watching one of my children establish a farm… lots of hard work, long hours… and constant worry about the welfare of the animals… it’s not easy. But you feel your connected to nature and to life. You know, Leah… most of us are most critical about ourselves. We can see a little pimple that no one else notices. I think the same goes for the way we see our country. You say that the US is years behind all sorts of other countries. But from my point of view, the US has so many accomplishments and has paved the way for so many others, that it’s a an example and a lighthouse to much of humanity. Every country can improve. We all have our weaknesses. But I think you might be a bit too hard on your own country. Thanks so much for your comment.

  22. It was so good to read your take on agriculture, and on the idea of choice. I have recently discovered that I cannot eat anything with wheat in it, because it has been so modified genetically that my system cannot cope with it. This has created a lot of fear In my heart, toward agriculture and society and the world they are creating. You remind me that humans are also capable of higher choices, capable of being guided by God.

    Thank you also for the lovely photos of one of my favorite wildflowers, cyclamen. You are quite right~ they are never so lovely than when growing wild where they are native.

    • Very sorry to hear of your difficulty with wheat. What an aggravation that must be. In recent years I’ve heard a lot of people have problems with reactions to certain foods. But on the whole, it seems to me that we have many more choices than we had some 50 years ago. That’s part of the consolation, I suppose. But again, I think that choice is most important; that we determine the type of life we live, I’m so glad you liked the photos, Melissa. Yes, they’re so beautiful when they’re growing wild.

  23. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    The rakefet is lovely, Shimon. Flowers are so SO varied, it’s incredible, it really is.

    I love your scribings. Always so grounded.

    • Thank you so much, Noeleen. Makes me happy to hear you enjoyed the post. And yes… it’s not just flowers. There is such a variety of life forms on this planet. It’s almost infinite… so much to learn.

  24. Such beautiful flowers! I will choose wildflowers over those grown for a flower shop any day, even those that some consider to be “weeds”. It is the element of beauty and surprise amidst the brown earth and grasses that we have here that is so pleasing to the eye and the heart and makes me smile!

    • I agree with you completely, Josie. And I love the way you say it, ‘so pleasing to the eye and the heart’. That’s exactly the way I feel about them. Thanks for your comment.

  25. Shortly after I started reading, I was thinking about how the word “agriculture” contained the word “culture”, thus I was making a connection that you eventually were making. Yes, the positive and negatives of human outcomes is kind of a ying and yang …. but it is human nature to dwell more on the negatives than the positives.

    • I agree with you on the ying and yang, Frank. I don’t know though, that it’s human nature to dwell on the negatives. We see that in this generation, people are very enthusiastic about almost every advance of technology. People stand in line to get their new cell phone or tablet… and all those ‘time saving’ innovations. It seems to me that this is a very positive generation. But we do have to maintain some of our critical faculties… so as not to get carried away. Thanks for the comment, Frank.

  26. This is indeed a truly wonderful flower. As you note, it’s amazing that we humans can be so intelligent and so stupid at the same time, but it’s a great relief and source of hope to me that we haven’t managed to outwit nature to the degree of losing all wildflowers and all of our appreciation of them! Cyclamens are a great metaphor in that way, too, seeming rather like dead things while they sleep in their corms and gradually returning to life and beauty in the renewal of the spring. Thanks for the reminder, Shimon.

    • So very glad you enjoyed the meditation on the cyclamens, Kathryn. And I think you’re right to worry about the wild flowers. Despite the fact that there are no evil intentions, we do seem to push nature away all the time. And I do like your metaphor… let’s hope they continue to surprise us year after year with their beauty. Thanks very much for the comment.

  27. Fabulous floral pictures Shimon. Their very deliciousness, gives me an inner urge to enjoy them with you. The photos and your words will bring that part of me that is attached to deeper nature into that beautiful open garden.

    I am not fazed by sensible, controlled genetic engineering, Nature herself, has been indulging in it since time immemorial. Some people call it evolution. When man discovered how to mix and match, sped the process up a bit I guess, it became to some, another bogey man, yet another cause célebre.

    • So glad to hear of your enjoyment of the cyclamens, menhir. They do bring out the delicate from under the ground. And it’s true that there has been a lot of changes and natural development of plant life too. But over the years we’ve been careful to discriminate between healthy fruit and vegetables and the poisoned varieties… of which there are many. One of the problems these days, is that the processes have speeded up. We are eating a lot of new things before we really know how they interact with our bodies. We’ve received a lot of blessings from modern technology, and I certainly hope for the best. But I think we’ve already gotten some warning signs, after the use of anti biotics and growth hormones. Always very good to trade ideas with you.

  28. Your words are simple, yet captivating for me this evening, Shimon….a nice visit before I turn in. Thank you….

  29. I really like this. Your comment about being smart and stupid at the same time really sums humanity up in a nutshell, I think!

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  31. A beautiful post and images, Shimon. I love the cyclamen too, and it must be a wonderful thing to see so many growing “freely” outdoors. I like the way you managed to get the landscape into the last tow photos – that cannot have been easy to do! Context!

  32. Beautiful blog and photos and so interesting. Glad I found you and glad you fund me :)

  33. Pingback: Catching a glimpse or crossing a boundary | maryrosenwrites

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