"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I stopped to photograph these Chinese Lantern plants growing in my yard I was excited to find one with the orange seed still inside this late in the season. Usually the sun, wind, snow and rain have worn through the walls of the seed pod to free its precious cargo.
As I sat here looking at this incredible seed pod I couldn't help but imagine myself as that little orange seed. My first thought was, "What holds us in and makes us feel secure is what holds us back." But then I thought, "No, this cage does indeed protect us for a while and the slow wearing away gradually allows for a beautiful, slow maturation. Until one day, when we are ready, life wears down enough of our barriers that we fall into our potential. Everything about the system is perfectly timed and designed."
OK, enough waxing philosophical. If you also didn't notice I had a hard time deciding how to crop these images. The top two are the same image and so are the bottom two. Normally I just make a firm decision and move on, but I was torn between loving a good close-up and really enjoying the composition of the original images. And because the fun of the blog is to do whatever I want, I decided to post them all!