Wednesday Vignette – glory days

So, there’s been another attack – in Brussels of all places. Of course, it’s not just any town – it is the administrative center of the European Union. But still… it makes me ponder the relative randomness of it all. You never know where the next one is going to be, and how close you will be to it. The only thing we can pretty much know for sure is that there will be a next one. There always is.

In the air, halfway between Amsterdam and Gothenburg about two months ago, I looked out the window of the plane, and saw this:

What is called a "glory" - an optical phenomenon where light is refracted through drops of water.

This is what is called a “glory” – an optical phenomenon where light is refracted through drops of water. Notice how the rings continue through the spectrum twice – even a third time – as it fades outward. I bet it continues beyond that, even though we can’t actually perceive it.

At the time, I had no idea what it was, but was duly mesmerized by such an oddity. We circled around up there for a while.  I know at least I was entertained by this marvel. But eventually even I started to feel that the trip was taking longer than expected. Suddenly, the captain’s voice came over the speakers. Due to a bomb threat on an SAS plane departing London, our destination airport had been closed for all other traffic, as the incident was being investigated. We were awaiting instructions on where to take the plane down before running out of fuel. Then, the appearance of the odd circular “rainbow” took on a new meaning for me – a kind of omen, or perhaps a guardian eye. Crazy, but I almost ascribed it some kind of metaphysical powers.

We landed safely in

We landed safely in a little town with the smallest airport I have ever seen. The subsequent  bus ride to Gothenburg took another two hours. All the while, we were grateful that ours was not the plane that had been threatened. 

In the end, it turned out that the London calamity was an empty threat. Phew! That part of the world happily escaped tragedy – that time. But, you just never know. The people of Brussels didn’t know – until suddenly they knew. Even though we just happened to be part of a peripheral layer of what was going on at the core of the threat, we were affected. And so on, like rings on the water, or – as it were – rings of the glory, our re-routing set in motion another layer of circumstances. What happened in Brussels will no doubt reverberate through the community and the world for a long time to come, sending out waves of reactions. One can only hope that the light of sanity and love will have the strength to refract through those waves, and spread comfort and understanding between the many factions of the fractured, shattered and confused dark world we live in. It is brighter, and certainly quieter above the clouds…




About annamadeit

I was born and raised in Sweden, By now, I have lived almost as long in the United States. The path I’ve taken has been long and varied, and has given me a philosophical approach to life. I may joke that I’m a sybarite, but the truth is, I find joy and luxury in life’s simple things as well. My outlook on life has roots in a culture rich in history and tradition, and I care a great deal about environmental stewardship. Aesthetically, while drawn to the visually clean, functional practicality and sustainable solutions that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavia, I also have a deep appreciation for the raw, the weathered, and the worn - materials that tell a story. To me, contrast, counterpoint, and diversity are what makes life interesting and engaging. Color has always informed everything I do. I’m a functional tetrachromat, and a hopeless plantoholic. I was originally trained as an architect working mostly on interiors, but soon ventured outside - into garden design. It’s that contrast thing again… An interior adrift from its exterior, is like a yin without a yang. My firm conviction that everything is connected gets me in trouble time and time again. The world is a big place, and full of marvelous distractions, and offers plentiful opportunities for inquiry and exploration. I started writing to quell my constant queries, explore my discoveries, and nurture my curiosity. The Creative Flux was started in 2010, and became a catch-all for all kinds of intersecting interests. The start of Flutter & Hum at the end of 2013 marks my descent into plant nerd revelry. I occasionally contribute to other blogs, but those two are my main ones. For sure, topics are all over the map, but then again - so am I! Welcome to my blogs!
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22 Responses to Wednesday Vignette – glory days

  1. Nicely observed, and put to good use

  2. FlowerAlley says:

    This was truly beautiful. You amaze me…again. Thank you friend.

  3. FlowerAlley says:

    Reblogged this on floweralley and commented:
    This is a beautifully written piece. Please give yourself 2 minutes of peace by reading it.

  4. Two great observations here. Such a thoughtful post in unsettling times.

    My vignette:

  5. Alison says:

    You always put so much good thought into your Wednesday Vignette posts. Not just great photos, but words worth reading too. I’m just sharing more garden photos today, nothing deep. My post is here:

  6. Oh my. Signs do happen. Sometimes I wonder if they are coincidences or messages from elsewhere. In any case, I’m glad you were safe. This is a fitting Wednesday Vignette. Thanks for hosting. Here’s my link:

    • annamadeit says:

      Isn’t it odd how we automatically latch on when something like that appear? I have to say I believe the origin of religion lies in our inability to exert control.

  7. We just never know, and it’s easy to allow yourself to become overwhelmed by it all. Thank goodness for gardens to give us back an inner calm, even if only briefly.

    My WV:

  8. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Thank you for this well done and comforting post. Sanity and love!

  9. Last year, I watched my friends on CNN as SWAT helped them depart their plane that had received a bomb threat. It was terrifying. I’m grateful that you were OK and had that beautiful ‘glory’ to keep you transfixed. Beautiful post.

    Here’s my WV:

  10. Kris P says:

    I’m glad that, in the end, you made it through that experience with only inconvenience and that, in the process, you found comfort. The photo is beautiful and woven into your description of the experience so well that your readers can feel it with you.

  11. This is a beautiful, honest post but I think the greatest sadness lies in the fact that the western world has decided that tragedy in a European country is deserving of much greater press coverage than the attacks on the Ivory Coast or in Lahore. When did one life become more valuable than another? Perhaps we all just felt that what happened in Paris was an anomaly and not an indicator of what’s to come to other parts of Europe. It reminds me all of all the bombings in London so many years ago.

    • annamadeit says:

      Sadly, you are absolutely right. The press tends to report on more familiar western territory. Now, if media did its job, we would get news from everywhere – but we don’t. Not to say that I would want to hear of any more pain and misery than I already do, but it certainly would level the playing field, and quiet the – in a global perspective – very small violins that we westerners tend to play.

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