random thoughts: on signs, coincidences & tulip magnolias

Several doors down, one of our neighbours has a large tulip magnolia tree in the front garden.  Every year around this time, in bursts into bloom.  The flowers only remain in full colour for a couple of days, so I always have to time it just right, to get the photos I want.


(Incidentally, I swear one of these days my neighbours are going to have me arrested for trespassing, what with me constantly crawling all over their front lawns.  I keep telling Marcus to have bail money ready.)



While I was taking the photographs of these flowers yesterday, I couldn't help but be convinced that winter was over in Houston.  I could be totally wrong, of course -- Houston winters tend to be wildly unpredictable -- but the huge explosion of pink just seemed to be a sign from the universe that the occasional cold snaps that we've had over the past few weeks are history, and a message that we should be getting ready for warmer days ahead.

Then I started thinking about signs in general.  I don't know about you, but I constantly find myself looking for signs.  And I'm not talking about deep, metaphysical signs, either; oh no, I'm more of a mundane, random, makes-no-sense sign-looker:

If the cookie is still sitting there on the counter when I return from running my errands, I think, it's a sign that I should eat it.

If I make the next traffic light, I say, it's a sign that I'm going to have a good day.

And don't even start me on coincidences:  the slightest unexpected occurrence, and I work myself up into such an unmitigated tizzy trying figure out its deeper meaning, I put the Double Rainbow Dude to shame.


But the truth is if I step back and think logically for a second, I believe the reason that I'm always looking for a sign is to take the easy way out -- if there's a sign, I don't have to take responsibility for the decisions that follow; after all, it's the universe who led the way.  This isn't to say that random occurrences or strange events don't warrant stopping and taking notice; but I think ultimately, it makes more sense to look inwards for the answers -- not to mention, have a little faith.  I mean, rarely has my intuition led me wrong, and let's face it:  I know whether or not I should eat the cookie.  And chances are, the proper perspective is all that's needed to make it a good day.  


Still ...


... I really think winter is over.


Images:  Photographed with my Nikon D300, 60mm micro lens.  aperture 2.8-3.2, shutter speed 1/500, ISO 200

SongIn your eyes, as performed by Sara Bareilles