Process as a Russian Doll

Spring stirred oaks

Spring stirred oaks dancing

Deep in the oak woods, something stirs. Tiny creaks and crackles fill the spaces between the air with gossamer wisps of sound.The sap hidden beneath the crusty crackled skin of bark begins its upwards journey towards the wooden finger tips of the trees. The earth turns back towards the sun, and the unstoppable yearly process of growth and decay, turns the trees out of winter and into spring. But look a little deeper and this grand yearly cycle is nestled like a Russian doll within far greater, longer cycles of process and change.

Viking warrior bares belly

Viking warrior bares belly

Lightening is drawn inevitably, like a tragic star struck lover, towards the heartwood of oak. The bleached lightening struck branches gleam like bones, revealing the first step in the big process of decay from life.

Broken limb

Broken limb, fallen dancer

Weakened by the heaven sent fury, the ground is littered with the fallen carcasses of limbs once swaying in the summer breeze, reaching towards the sky.

Rope twist in wood

Rope twist in wood

The contact with the earth sets off the next stage in the process of decay. The bark falls like flesh, and the grain in the wood is chiseled out by millions of tiny organisms, unseen by human eye. The wood is re-clothed with moss, fungi and lichen, as its structure softens further, releasing its hard held form back into the soft earth.

Wood to earth - new hope

Wood to earth – new hope

In the end, the strength of the tree dissolves into soil, and tiny acorns are nourished by its soft life giving blanket.  Change and process are hidden all around us in unseen layers within layers, if only we have the eyes to see. The stately process has come full circle, and the earth breathes out, into growth, and into the next layer of the Russian doll of life.

To see more ideas of process decribed with pictures and words visit the weekly challenge

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About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I live by the banks of the River Esk near Edinburgh, Scotland. I currently share my home with my husband, my son, my nephew and a collection of cats and dogs. I am forever snapping shots of things which catch my eye. I love art which is here now and gone tomorrow...like food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! I guess I'm a mixed up kind of girl. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 10 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist, and I'm employed 3 days a week as a Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Cancer Centre.
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101 Responses to Process as a Russian Doll

  1. Beautiful writing and photos! I wish I could write like yours..This post has it all! Great work!!

  2. seo says:

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the best
    blogs on the web. I’m going to highly recommend this site!

  3. bdh63 says:

    You were right, I did like the photos a lot. I like the way you think about what you are seeing, write about and contemplate the world.

  4. Pingback: Calophyllum Inophyllum | Find Me A Cure

  5. pix & kardz says:

    some fantastic images here. that first one is sheer eye candy. thanks for sharing.

  6. bhuwanchand says:

    Beautiful pics…have aptly captured the essence of nature…

  7. craftschen says:

    Russia, beautiful nature, beautiful words.

  8. C L Smith says:

    What a beautiful post! I wish I could write like that. Thank you for sharing :)

  9. shanbanana says:

    This is beautifully done.

  10. ohdecker says:

    I especially liked the Spring Stirred Oaks Dancing. It reminds me of a passage in T. H. Whites “The Sword in The Stone,” in which the Wart as an owl is taken to see Athena, and she gives him the vision of the life of the earth, including the Dream of Trees. .

    In the past couple of years I’ve planted over 500 trees on my hilltop near Kansas City, Missouri. Some grow fast, and others more slowly.

    OHD

  11. I love your description of the changes of nature. Written with a discerning and loving heart. Even if your photos are so beautiful, your real talent is in your words. Or both. Thank you.

  12. rimassolosailingaroundtheworldm says:

    Thank you so much for blog I am really enjoy it to discover something new, please stop on my blog and Facebook also I have second blog: http://about.me/meleshyusrimas

  13. peterjfoster says:

    Love your pictures of trees – my favorite ‘God’s-creation’ on the planet.

  14. Beautiful! Trees and forests are so relaxing.

  15. nanc says:

    This is really lovely! Your descriptions were so vivid I felt like I was there. – nanc

  16. I really like your blog and would love you to feature on mine, http://www.5thingstodotoday.com. All you have to do is write five suggestions along with a link back to your site. Please check out the blog and see the sort of things people have written about. It wont cost you anything and your post will be on a google ranked 3 site. Many Thanks. David

  17. Mary Mageau says:

    Amazing photographs, enlivened by beautiful descriptive prose. Thank you for visiting and liking my blog.

  18. That was moving, deep, beautiful. Such a great post

  19. angelanowak says:

    A very catchy title, I’ve only started to read because of it. Russian dolls called ‘Matreshka’ by the way. A very interesting read. Thank you!

    • Matreshka….I didn’t know that’s their name in Russian…..it has a beautiful sound. Thanks for teaching me something new. I had a set of these dolls as a child and they fascinated me. I wonder what the history behind them is? Thanks for the lovely feedback :-)

      • angelanowak says:

        I found an article on the Internet where they said that a Russian businessman brought a figure from Japan & Russian craftsmen turned it into their own craft adding more figures to go inside in 1870’s. His name was Mamontov.

      • Wow….that’s so interesting. From Japan to Russia :-) Thanks for taking the time to look this up

      • Hi, on the other hand, Wikipedia states that matryoshki (you have to insert the ‘y’ for the soft ‘o’ sound, because that ‘e’ is pronounced /io/ in Russian for the cyrillic letter ‘ё’) were first “carved in the 1890’s by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo.” Mamontov was the businessman owning the Abramtsevo estate. Further, “Zvyozdochkin and Malyutin were inspired by a doll from Honshu, the main island of Japan. Sources differ in descriptions of the doll, describing it as either a round, hollow daruma doll or a fukuruma nesting doll portraying portly bald old Buddhist monk.” Thanks for inspiring me to find out about this famous artifact that I’ve known for a long time without knowing its history.

      • And thanks for sharing what you found out! I love to stop and think about things which are easy to take for granted because we think we know them :-)

  20. beautiful post! thanks for sharing!

  21. Pingback: Saturday Share | Trees | Process as a Russian Doll | #nature #scichat | IamOkema

  22. clare says:

    woodland looks so beutiful amazing pictures

    thankyou

    clare

  23. Pingback: Process as a Russian Doll | therises

  24. andy1076 says:

    These are incredible photos! I always enjoyed the sight of tree trunks because they tell so much :)

  25. Ritu KT says:

    Amazing photos! And i love the accompanying text.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

  26. SELAHbrate says:

    Change and process remains obscure for our reluctance to see stems from fear of loss unknowing it is the cycle of life.

    • So true….fear of loss makes us hide from so much. Yet the truth is that everything is in constant change…nothing remains the same. Change is the only constant, and just as we trust that each out breath will be followed by a new in breath, so we should trust that life will bring us new inspiration.

  27. Tia888 says:

    I enjoyed the gorgeous pictures, when I was 9, I had a tree swing and as I sat there I would talk to it, and I often imagined it talking back, I named it, but can’t remember “His” name now.

    I never really told anyone about me talking to the tree before.

    • I think when we are little we allow ourselves to see a little more creatively…and tree swings are awesome…I had one in an apple tree in my garden and spent hours just swinging, nothing else seemed urgent :-)

  28. Such beautiful words to go with such beautiful pictures! Those oaks have so much character–the circle of life continues…

  29. Such beautiful words to go with your beautiful pictures! Those oaks have such character. The circle of life continues…

  30. Pingback: Writing Challenge: image vs. text | Flickr Comments

  31. Beautiful! Words and pictures together – a lovely evening treat! Oaks are certainly majestic and their aura is one of wisdom.

  32. nuvofelt says:

    This is lovely and would make a very good 100 Steps! Hope you will consider joining in at some point. http://chittlechattle.com/todays-100/

  33. lovelycollegegirl says:

    You have such beautiful pictures throughout your blog! I’ve enjoyed getting to look through some of them and hope to make time to venture into more! They also are accompanied by nice thoughts phrased perfectly! Keep up the awesome work and thanks for the feedback with my blog! :)

  34. janineyork says:

    What a beautiful analogy. I love nature as a muse and these oaks and the moss along with the lightening’s remnants and scars were perfect models for your photography and craft with words. It really makes me long for a walk in the woods and spring to return!!!

  35. Wow. Nice location. I wish I could spend an afternoon there. Brilliant choice of subject. D

  36. twoscamps says:

    Those trees are gnarled and beautiful! What a great series of captures and prose too!

    • Very kind. It’s funny when I write a post I never have an idea if others will connect with what I’ve written or photographed….so glad you liked this one…. It’s very reassuring :-)

  37. Pingback: {Weekly Writing Challenge} Why we, parents do what we do… a few pictorial reasons! « 3rdculturechildren

  38. Riggle David says:

    I love ‘Spring stirred oaks dancing’. Just excellent. Had to share on FB. And you’ve been so prolific lately! Spring’s getting to you too! xx

    • Thanks David, I love those trees too. I got some more great shots of their movements and poses, which I’ll share later. It’s true the sunny days have filled me with energy and action, but a weeks holiday has also helped :-) xx

  39. supriya says:

    Lovely photography :)

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I took these photos, along with some others, at the weekend in an ancient oak pasture near my home in Scotland. This weekly challenge was the perfect chance to use these shots :-)

      • supriya says:

        They all are amazing. I just love watching & reading it also. You’re lucky to have a home in such a beautiful place. Nature bless all of us hope we human also show some respect to it. :)

  40. and beautiful photography

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