Tag Archives: Reflections

Reiman Gardens: “Mirror, Mirror on the Phal”

Last Friday – the day before the first day of spring – was windy but warmish. With hopes of buds on trees and new plants poking out of the ground, I grabbed my camera and headed to Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University. The discovery of the day was a special exhibit in the Hughes Conservatory: “Mirror, Mirror on the Phal.”

“Phalaenopsis orchids are like faces: if divided from top to bottom, one side reflects the other. Such symmetry occurs throughout nature. Just look around – mammals, insects, and many leaves exhibit this quality. Where can you spot symmetry?”

Reiman Gardens Website, https://www.reimangardens.com/exhibition/2021-patterns-unfolding/, 3/23/21.

“Of course, another place to see a reflection is in a mirror. The Evil Queen in Snow White made famous the phrase, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” We think nature presents us with the greatest beauty, whether symmetrical or not. We see it reflected in the drama of a sunset, the simplicity of a Phalaenopsis, and even within ourselves.  At the start of 2021, we invite you to reflect and seek all the beauty you can find. Even just by looking in a mirror.”

Reiman Gardens Website, https://www.reimangardens.com/exhibition/2021-patterns-unfolding/, 3/23/21

The reflections in the hexagonal mirrors were so much fun! I’m planning to go back some afternoon – rather than the morning – just to take pictures when the sun is coming from a different direction.

They have set it up for one-way traffic through the Conservatory and masks are required. But it’s not a large place, so I was thrilled when I was the only one in there. The last photo is looking back through the exit doors.

Hoping you’ll take a few minutes to reflect on all the beauty you see – especially when looking in the mirror!

Photo Challenge: Glass

Maundy Thursday Worship Table. Photo: TLCLark, 4/9/2020.

It’s a week late for Nancy Merrill’s A Photo a Week Challenge: Glass. But other than being late, I couldn’t think of a reason not to share.

The bowl of water was on our worship (aka kitchen / dining room) table for a virtual Maundy Thursday church service. We were supposed to be remembering the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet (see John 13).

But my mind wandered to Nancy’s challenge and to the shadows made by her glass mixing bowl. Click here to see for yourself!

Three types of glass are visible in both of my pictures: the bowl, the flower vases, and the living room window. The bottom picture also has reflections of the dining area windows.

Glass with Reflections. Photo: TLClark, 4/9/2020.

Look around! What shadows and reflections do you see in your corner of the world?

Children: The Ring of Life

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I noticed the pool before I really saw the figures as I walked around the campus of Iowa State University this morning.  Real children playing tend to capture my attention – especially  when I have no where else I have to be at the moment.  These kids caught in stone deserved a closer look.

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The words on the rim of the pool are from a poem by James Whitcomb Riley.

The Hired Man’s Faith in Children
by James Whitcomb Riley

I believe all children’s good,
Ef they’re only understood,
Even bad ones, ‘pears to me,
‘S jes’ as good as they kin be!

Of course they are “as good as they kin be!”  These children are playing with a water lily and a turtle; there are a couple of frogs behind them.

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Titled “The Marriage Ring” and also known as “The Ring of Life,” the original sculpture was done by Christian Petersen (Danish-American, 1885-1961) during his tenure as professor and artist-in-residence at ISU.   Because of vandalism, the sculpture was recast in reinforced concrete in the early 1990s.

“The circular basin of the pool represents a wedding ring and the valuable gems of the ring are symbolized by the three children, which Petersen considered the jewels of a marriage.”

– Iowa State University, University Museums, http://umsm003.its.iastate.edu/view/objects/asitem/326/542/title-asc?t:state:flow=86c383ec-25f2-47ba-b6ff-8609eb50a7c3

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As is often the case, the pastor/teacher in me was reminded of a few words of scripture.

“Allow the children to come to me,” Jesus said. “Don’t forbid them, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these children.”  Then he blessed the children.  – Matthew 19:14-15a, CEB

Whether with a child, a friend or on your own, may you have time to play today.