MINOR DEITIES

Their flowers long

gone,

water lillies gently

wave

sun-shaped leaves

on dark water.

Stems’  crescent curves

emerge –

roots somewhere

in the mud

below.

Nymphaea odorata:

crowds of once fragrant

water nymphs,

still cavorting,

giving shape to

formless

water.

***

And cattail leaves –

inked scribbles,

reflected back to sky.

Nymphaea odorata is the Fragrant Water Lily. Nymphaea recalls Greek myths of nymphs, minor female nature deities associated with certain places, including bodies of water. Odorata, of course, refers to the fragrance.

The photos were taken on a late fall afternoon at Sammamish Slough in Marymoor Park, outside of Seattle.  Slough, pronounced slew is, in the Northern US and Canada, a slow moving, shallow body of water, often swampy or marshy.

The Sammamish people lived here long ago. “Meander dwellers” is one possible translation of the name. They were a small tribe, and after whites arrived in the area, though they resisted, between smallpox and the whites’ superior weapons they were removed to reservations along with other tribes.

Though the park is now full of mostly white dog walkers and sports enthusiasts, I’m sure some of us who wander the slough, in a quiet moment, can feel ourselves back into a time before our food was purchased at stores, a time when our senses were quickened by the sight of a passing bird, the fragrance of a wildflower, the ripple of a zephyr over the water.


53 comments

  1. Wow I loved these watery lily gold and silver drop photos BB !
    And your last few descriptive words .. the ripple of a zephyr over the water … so poetic so lovely …

  2. Very compelling photos, Lynn…there’s something almost cellular about a few of them. And the words, yes, our histories as Whites are often disturbing…our forebears…shame on them….and yes, I hope our senses can be awake when we’re out there….

    • Nice to hear your thoughts. It’s incredibly awful, what was done, the extent of it, and how little it’s talked about. Everyone lost so much, in many ways, by pushing so many people under. But the spirit lives on outdoors, I think. I know you feel it.

  3. I like the varied interpretations of the scene. The first image I find particularly interesting: the balance between the lines and the ‘circles’; the suggestion of movement gently disturbing the ‘still’ waters; the restricted, contrasting palette; the effective way in which the ripples bind the composition horizontally. You have captured and made us aware of a unique environment.

    • Thank you – It’s funny, when I saw that scene in “real life” I loved the way everything looked, but there was a strong glare on the water, which made photographing it difficult. The glare seemed to ruin the resulting photo, until I figured out how to overcome that with processing, to get it back to what i sensed originally. Took some work though!

  4. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award | Babsje Heron


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