Travel on the Mekong River Inspires Lotus Design

Lotus Blossom

As I write this, we are under a shelter in place order. Life seems to be on pause. It is a very strange feeling, this feeling of being in limbo. We wake up each day hoping to hear good news; wanting to hear Coronovirus is declining. We want to hit the resume button and go back to life as normal. I wonder how long that will take, and what exactly will normal look like. if I ponder these things too long, I feel my anxiety rise. Instead I am holding fast to my faith in God and country. There will be better days ahead.

Typically, when we encounter a crisis it is in our nature to spring into action. But for the moment, the way to help seems to be to distance ourselves from one another. In the days ahead there will be more tangible ways to support one another, particularly by supporting local business. In the meantime, the only thing I can do is to create in my studio. It is who I am and what heals me.  

I have been creating new garden art inspired by a recent trip to Vietnam and Cambodia. We were fortunate to visit just before travel was shut down. There were so many beautiful sites to see, but what I loved most was the spirit of the people we met.  As always, I found inspiration in architecture and nature. We saw many lotus flowers on our trip, both real and symbolic. It was carved in stone at the temples, embroidered on fabrics, and floating in the waters by Angkor Wat. The bud of the lotus flower is what inspired the shape of my latest garden art creations.

There is a wealth of symbolism tying the lotus flower to Hinduism, Buddhism, and ancient Egyptian religious practices. Universally, it symbolizes spiritual enlightenment and rebirth. In Vietnam, the Lotus flower is known as the flower of the dawn and is the symbol of purity, commitment and optimism for the future. The lotus has its roots in mud, a place of darkness and filth. It incubates there until it rises high above the muddy waters, clean, beautiful and fragrant. At night the flower closes and sinks underwater and rises and opens again at dawn.  

So now when I look at my Mekong River inspired garden art, I will not only think about the wonderful people and places we visited but will also hold on to optimism for the future.

Below are a few pictures of the people and sites of Vietnam & Cambodia. This was part of an AmaWaterways river cruise. It was a fabulous trip with outstanding guides. For sure a once in a lifetime trip. They are in no particular order. Most were taken on my cell phone; just wanted to share an overview of what we experienced.

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