Keeping it Simple

For a lot of people at the moment, life is strange, complex and worrying. We don’t know what will happen, we don’t know how long we’ll be in lock-down, we don’t know whether the world will ever be the same again. Some people have time on their hands, looking for things to occupy themselves. Some, like me, seem busier than ever with working from home taking up a large chunk of time. Everything is different, and it’s unsettling.

Sometimes you find yourself reading every snippet of news, thirsty for knowledge, as if this will help you feel better (it won’t). Other times you try and drown it out with books, films, TV programmes, anything to push it out of your mind. You might try to mindfully acknowledge your fearful thoughts, and let them go. You may meditate, run, throw yourself into a project, attack brambles in the garden, let the words out in a blog post, immerse yourself in nature, crochet, knit … whatever works for you.

Whatever you do, be kind to yourself, this is a difficult time for everyone, and if you are struggling, remember that you are not alone and we will get through this.

When I am anxious I usually need a distraction, otherwise it builds and builds. Yesterday I had to leave the house to drive into town to pick up prescribed medication for the whole family. Anxiety levels were high, so I put on some of my favourite, uplifting, sing-along music while I drove. Singing kept the fear at bay.

Another way to be calm for me is to embrace nature and photography, 2 of my favourite things. So I spent some time in the garden taking photos of the spring growth and visiting insects. The simple, calm act of observing, peering into the grass, smelling the scent of new growth … so soothing to me.

Come with me on a little browse around the garden, and find your calm in this time spent simply observing and appreciating nature. Click on the photos to view a larger version.

In amongst the grass, the Water Mint is growing. It has spread out across a larger area of the grass and it smells beautiful if you brush against it. There are so many shoots, I’m looking forward to their pretty flowers later in the year.

Water Mint leaves
Water Mint leaves among the grass. I wish you could smell it!

The sixth (and last) of my Snake’s Head Fritillary flowers is developing. Not quite there yet. The oldest of the flowers are now seed pods. Two are still hanging down, but as they develop they’ll end up tall and straight pointing up to the sky. One is starting to turn upward already.

Flower number 6 on its way
Here you can see flowers 1-3 are now just seed pods, and flowers 4 & 5 still have their petals
Flower 5 is the freshest, brightest flower right now
There is simplicity in the act of observing, but also you can achieve simplicity in the photograph itself. With macro photography, the simpler the better, so you can concentrate on the main focus of the image. This is the seed pod that is starting to move to the upright position.
If you look carefully, you can see that there is a Bumble Bee in the central flower. It’s hard to photograph as they disappear inside the flower, so I’m glad to have got this shot, where you can at least see a glimpse of the bee in there!

While looking around to see what was growing and who was visiting my plants, I spotted a Ladybird. The contrast of the red against the fresh green of the leaves is lovely. There is a simplicity to the photographs, as well as in the observation here. Just the red (and black) and the green, nothing else.

7-spot Ladybird
7-spot Ladybird

Finally, the simple joy of leaves emerging, showing us that spring is here. Nature is still as she was, spring is still here, buds will burst, fresh leaves will emerge, seasons will change as they always do. Life continues.

Sycamore bud burst
Fresh new Willow leaves
There are many fresh new leaves on my Willow now

This post was inspired by the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Simplicity.

Thank you for reading. Wishing you all good health, calm and peace of mind in these troubled times.

By Suzy Shipman

I like to take photos and write words ...


  1. I agree with Amy. Your photos are beautiful and inspiring and give me a sense of calm that I definitely need! Thanks so much for joining us, Suzy. I hope you continue to take part in the challenges! Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

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