Beauty Heals in Troubled Times

Balancing rocks on Cayuga Lake

66 words, 9 photos,  1 prayer


Read the Headlines.
Hide under bed.


Shadow Unleashed.
What have we done?


Scary dreams.
No one to tell.


Hold trembling self.
Find Balance somewhere.



Coneflower sways.
Monarch rides.
Sweetness shared.







Bumblebee in Salvia
Loading pollen sacs.






Angel Trumpets
Scent the evening air.




Black Swallowtails dance
Through orange Zinnias.







White Swallowtail sips Milkweed.
Coneflower next.




Frittilary flits.
Zinna says,
“Stay here.”





Sunset prayer.
May there be Peace.


Where do you turn in troubled times? Nature, poetry, music, scripture, friends, crafts, cake, comedy? Please add to my list. For a post about honeybees, I suggest Honeybees and Humans: Our Sweet Interdependence. For an exquiste poem about butterflies, nature, and life, read “One or Two Things” by Mary Oliver. Wishing you a peaceful and restful summer’s end. I plan to practice the art of relaxation, even though I’m not good at it. (Photos by Elaine Mansfield)

  1. delicious! Your beautiful words and images are soul food!

  2. This is so beautiful Elaine thank you .. Nature and her creatures never fails to ease a troubled heart. Music can do this for me. A Bach prelude, the stars in the sky, a moon in all her glory, a flower, a bee …

    • Ah, Susan, I miss music. Music and I haven’t done well together for 20 years. So much lost with my particular kind of hearing problem, including social ease in groups and the healing power of music from Motown to Verda. Sigh… I can no longer hear music without cringing distortion of sound, except in memories or dreams, so I turn to the visual world and the tactile world, too.

  3. So refreshing, Elaine. Your photos and text here and on Facebook always inspire. God is so gracious to envelope us in floral and butterfly beauty. I can feel the oxygen flowing this morning.

    I love Mary Oliver’s poems too and read a new one here. Your post reminded me of other words, which I am sure you know well: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr. Thank you for spreading light.

    • We had a huge storm yesterday with a tornado watch. That’s unusual for the Finger Lakes. Thankfully, there was no tornado, but the wind and rain were wild. They washed the world clean and left a golden light which I photographed and posted on my FB professional page. The wild flowers thrive with moisture and so do the butterflies. I love that Martin Luther King quote. We are in desperate need of that perspective right now.

  4. Thanks for sharing the beauty you have discovered, Elaine. I often turn to my painting in troubled times, though family and friends are great, too.

    • Lynne, I can imagine you turning to painting the way I turn to words. As an amature, I also paint themes from the mythology I’m reading or the images of powerful teaching dreams, but at the moment I tend more toward photography.

  5. Beautiful imagery and prose Elaine. Indeed, sometimes turning to nature is our biggest comfort.:)

  6. Lovely 🙂 Nature is always a great comfort to me. Hiking has a meditative power that can’t be denied. I also like tending to the flower pots in my backyard.

    • I’m glad you have that in your pocket, Jeri. Hiking and being outside was the best medicine for me during the darkest times. Flower pots work, too.

  7. This was beautiful Elaine. Words and pictures.
    An early morning walk on the shoreline helps to erase my anxiety and fears. The wet sand cushions my feet and softens my footfalls. I always feel better.

    • Thank you, Kim. It resonates with your seashells. The ocean can hold, soften, and comfort as nothing else can. And it can frighten, as in Texas today.

  8. We all need a little healing, a little nature and a little beauty.

    Thank you

  9. Lovely!

  10. What a great collection of things, Elaine. It does kinda sum up the summer. Butterflies. Flitting. Fleeting. OMG how did you run into so many butterflies anyway?

    • Thanks Robin. The butterflies ran into me by showing up in the fields and flower beds. I have big patches of milkweed in the fields and now have 16 Monarch caterpillars munching on milkweed in jars in my kitchen. May they thrive. May we all thrive.

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