May 22, 2017

Spring, Tulips & Chocolate Cake

I blinked... and it was May again, pouring its aliveness over me...
I've been watching the group of yellow and red tulips in the corner of the back yard. And boy, they loooove the sunshine. Every morning when the warm spring sun touches their petals, they bring their bountiful colors to the world, fully open to the light until the evening twilight makes them calm down and relax in peace and fulfillment. I've been watching the white and pink tulips in the pitcher playing with the warmth in the room, making the known-like-the back-of-my-hand space cheer up. Spring isn't spring without tulips, is it?
I've been crossing the streets of the city witnessing the awakening of the apple trees, the magnificent display of the magnolia's fragrant blossoms followed by the dancing lilacs in the wind...
And I have been soaking it all up...
Passing trough the ordinary dailyness, you think your life is pretty normal, but you can't miss a little spring bulb blooming inside of your body filling it up with unexpected energy. You can't miss the sense of change penetrating the air with hope, promises and newness. Someone once said that "when the beautiful spring comes and nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also."
I found this to be true. But! What I also noticed is that we don't talk about the human soul very much anymore. We spend time writing emails, messages with emojis, posts on social media, and long resumes with our achievements and expertise abilities, but sharing with others our true soul is something more of us have forgotten how to do. With each person we meet dwells an inner life and we mostly see their outer flower – the blue eyes and the small nose, the title or perhaps political beliefs, the shyness or the brimming confidence. But by peeling the petals, within that flower resides the human soul. One that is timeless, that is Self, that is "a unique event in the history of the universe", that is what a person is and what he or she will always be. Inside every corolla is an ache to be heard. But how many of us today show a genuine interest in others? How many of us today have the time to listen to a stranger or even a friend trying to communicate something deep, something coming from his heart, something he believes in, or troubles him or fills him with joy? How many of us are listeners with no attachments to views, absolute knowledge and prejudices avoiding assumptions and judgments? There is so much noise out there every day – iPhones, iPods, podcasts, newsfeed, headlines, headphones – we can barely hear the voice of our own soul much less to find room for another voice. How many of us are comfortable with taking down the walls, opening up and sharing our souls as vulnerable, strong, appalled or joyous as they might be?
I recently found a new favorite quote "I hate small talk", someone unknown wrote. "I wanna talk about atoms, death, aliens, sex, magic, intellect, the meaning of life, faraway galaxies, the lies you've told, your flaws, your favourite scents, your childhood, what keeps you up night, your insecurity and fears...
I like people with depth, who speak emotion, a twisted mind. I don't want to know "what's up."  
Today, that is me.
I've had my own share of preoccupation with my thoughts, opinions and knowledge so that I was ignorant or easily irritated by someone trying to fill my space with unneeded information and emotions. Not any longer. I can see the treasure trove of wisdom, experiences and unique perspective that everyone is longing to express in one way or another. I want to talk about the soul. I am ready to listen. I want your soul to touch my soul... while we talk. I know that your Self will extend a hand to my Self to find my true voice by listening to the voice of my soul. I know this would be the most honest way to craft the most authentic version of myself. I am not taking the human connection for granted; in fact, I believe that sharing our soul with others reveals true humanity and beauty in being connected. Words and actions that emerge from our soul can bring love, compassion and kindness – the only cure for our broken world. We just have to open ourselves the same way the tulips in the spring open to the sun.

"We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. 
Meanwhile within man is the soul of the whole; 
the wise silence; 
the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; 
the eternal One. 
And this deep power in which we exist, 
and whose beatitude is all accessible to us, 
is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, 
but the act of seeing and the thing seen, 
the seer and the spectacle, the subject and the object, 
are one. 
We see the world piece by piece, 
as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; 
but the whole, of which these are the shining parts, 
is the soul." 
                                                                                                                             Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Over-Soul", 1841

I baked this moist, creamy and rich in flavor Triple-Chocolate Buttermilk Pound Cake from a recipe from Souther Living Magazine – a keeper for every chocolate lover.

Sharing with Feathered Nest Friday / Home Sweet Home / Creative Inspirations


  1. Beautifully written, Sylvia, and your photos are lovely as always.

    You are always that person who makes me think. I see so many of the people I love at social occasions, and you are spot on...hello, how are you, what's new? We email and text to keep interaction short and to the point. I think this leads to many of us not really remembering how to express ourselves, our souls. I remember heart to heart talks with my mother and best girlfriends. Even my husband. It all seems to have vanished in a world that won't slow down.

    Thanks so much for giving us something to savor, and not just that gorgeous cake.

    Jane x

  2. Absolutely fabulous, Sylvia. You shape light so beautifully!!!!!! I can't wait for school to end so I can experiment more with my options; I am stuck at the moment and have no clue of what or how to photograph, but it's like poetry. You simple don't know what you'll be creating until you make yourself present and free to make many mistakes.

    That chocolate cake captures the light so well!

  3. Very good post Sylvia! You hit the nail on the head, keep us from the important stuff. A relationship with the One! Beautifully written! I always so enjoy your writing and pictures. A Southern Living recipe is always good! I haven't made anything from them yet that wasn't fabulous! You are a treasure Sylvia! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

  4. Will feature today at Home Sweet Home!

  5. So much excellence in one spot. I had to come back to read your post when I could give it the attention it deserves. Then I had to start reading over again many times as my mind would wander off to consider something you had said. So much food for thought. And all so true. What strange times we live in. I appreciate the nurturing words. Such a gift from you.

    Your photos are so fine, and a pleasure to linger over. I would love a taste of that beautiful cake.

  6. What a wonderful post! I have been to Chicago a few times and it is a wonderful city! These photos are beautiful!


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