Purple-smudge biker and roses under ice

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, July 7, 2016

Smudge on floor at Anything Grows suggested speeding biker during conversation on imagination, while autumn roses following freezing rain inspired photo on creativity in nature. Smudge photo by Warren Harbeck, rose photo by Tynan Heembrock

Purple-smudge biker and roses under ice? What’s that all about?

You’ll find out in a moment, but first some responses to last week’s column on turning a blotchy concrete floor into wispy white clouds, and dreaming things that never were and asking, “Why not?”

Teyjah Xaveriss, of Gibsons, BC, makes reference both to that column and to my June 2 column on seeing beauty in a knot in a well-worn wooden floor:

“Seeing the ‘why not’ is the musical notes of the Creator within, always moving us forward.  Everything we perceive as concrete is malleable into endless possibilities: the knots in the floor that speak, the clouds that come forth with a simple ‘yes’ to creation.”

Cochrane reader Daniel Miller responds that experiencing such beauty is fundamental to our humanity, itself a gift, and gratitude for that gift “often requires some exercise of the imagination.” 

Dentist Dr. Ralph Dubienski, writing from Springbank, agrees. “It is amazing what the imagination can see. Even better when we can see the potential that God has for each one of us.”

Now back to the purple-smudge biker and roses under ice.

During my weekly visit to Anything Grows Cochrane Garden Store, manager Tynan Heembrock also commented on last week’s column. He’s a very imaginative, talented fellow whose creative ways are evident throughout the greenhouse.

While we were talking about seeing beauty in blotches, something on the floor by the checkout counter caught our attention. It was a purple smudge about the size of a gardener’s hand.

“What do you see in that?” we asked each other.

Very quickly we agreed on one possibility. I took a photo of the smudge, headed home, sat down at my computer, and (with a little help from Adobe clipart) put some wheels under the smudge.

Yup, there it was, a biker tearing down the road, hair flying in the wind!

I shouldn’t have been surprised at how seeing life creatively adds to Tynan’s enjoyment of the journey. He’s also a great photographer.

One late-October Monday morning a few years ago after an all-night freezing rain, he arrived at work and was greeted with a glistening display of roses under ice in the outdoor planter along the front of the store. Tynan captured its crystalline beauty in the photo included with this column.

I asked him how he felt when he took that photo.

“I hadn't really seen anything like that before,” he said, “and I really wanted to capture that moment so I could share it. I haven't seen anything like it since. It's just such a contrast: a flower of summer completely covered in ice of winter.” 

Thank you, Tynan, for reminding us that even nature has its creative ways. I mean, roses under ice – imagine that!


© 2016 Warren Harbeck

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