Fragility and Power




County Donegal, Republic of Ireland is the site of Malin Head, the northernmost part of Ireland. On the East is the Irish Sea and Scotland. On the West is the vast expanse of the North Atlantic. The wind blows unimpeded onto Malin Head.

It was a bright and sunny day with a brisk wind off the Atlantic. I noticed this brilliant yellow flower and wanted to capture a photo, but knew that the wind would inevitably blur the photo. So I held the flower still between my finger tips and the camera’s autofocus worked perfectly.

Two things struck me later on about the photo. The tiny serrated edges of the flower petals match the fingerprint ridges of my hand, creating a sense of kinship in me with this part of God’s creation.

Even more striking is the sense of power, fragility and gentleness at play in this photo. I could have plucked the flower to photograph in a “better location”, but rather held it firmly and gently to stabilize it from the wind. The tiny size of the flower compared to my fingertips was a surprise.

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