I began photographing our yellow delicious apple tree in the spring, with the idea of capturing shots at various stages through harvest time. This, in an effort to visually convey transformation:
Alchemy is the process of transforming lead into gold.
Inner alchemy is my term for personal transformation to our highest best.
I believe that life is an expression of the choices we make, with each choice serving to transform us—subtle or obvious—body, mind, and/or spirit.
Further, I believe that whatever we are not changing, we are choosing. So much so, that my life’s purpose is based on this conviction.
The photos in this post were taken between April and September. This six-month window is the typical life cycle for apples in the United States.
Inner alchemy—personal transformation—occurs at different times and speeds for everyone:
- Early, quick, and dynamic
- Late, slow, and measured
- Somewhere in-between
When it comes to personal transformation, are you an early or late bloomer?
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” — Laurie Buchanan
The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience—Life Harmony
© Laurie Buchanan 2013
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Beautiful post. I think I’m late, slow and measured.
Jzrart – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. “Steady Eddie” is always good 🙂
You know what your post started me thinking about? “Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.” I think if a person fell deeply enough into understanding that sentiment they would more fully realize the bloom that they are. Thank you, Laurie.
Kathy – “…they wold more fully realize the bloom that they are.” I love your observation!
What a beautiful post! I am a tortoise. Slow and measured. Sometimes frustrated by the speed of my journey, I know in the end, I will have traveled a great distance.
Linda – It’s been said that the turtle/tortoise wins the race 🙂
Laurie I am in many ways a late bloomer as far as being relaxed and calmly riding the waves of the seasons. All along though I have had some good years and some years of fraught with drought and despair. Mostly, I believe I am a hardy, pest resistant apple tree with delicious sweet fruit in abundance enough for sharing and that are perfect to have over a long chat with a cup of tea. Lovely photographs by the way 🙂
Terrill – You are, indeed, a hardy (hearty!) tree that those of us who know you well love to gather under, enjoying your shade and delicious fruit!
What a lovely post with gorgeous illustrations to make your point! I wonder what marvelous things you will do with those delicious ripe apples. 🙂
As I age, I think I have blossomed. Beginning as a shy quiet teen and young adult, I have become a more outgoing person, less afraid of what others will think, so I can do things I love and enjoy being with the people I love without worrying about being judged. With regards to my creative side, I think I am forever evolving, trying something new. 🙂
Mywithershins – We peel, slice, and prep the apples then freeze it for easy-making pies and tarts throughout the year 🙂
I’m so glad you’re no longer held hostage by the opinion of others. That liberates us to blossom all over the place 🙂
You’ve captured a beautiful sequence of stages, Laurie. It certainly portrays transformation in an earthy and concrete way.
Don – Thank you. I had fun doing it 🙂
Laurie – I love the way you illustrated your points and thoughts with photos; so very creative. In answer to your question – personal transformation for me has varied. My initial phase came in my mid-40s through Mystery and losing everything that was familiar to me; the circumstance was quick, the journey slow and measured. It happened to me yet again a year ago, and this time, it has been slow and measured all the way through. I am a work in progress, and trying to master “patient trust.”
Theresa – “Ah work in progress” that will be a masterpiece 🙂
Definitely a LATE bloomer 😦
Ann – Like with wine, sometimes extra time works in our favor 🙂
Oh Laurie your photos are bliss . We have a very old apple tree in our garden , I think it’s a Worcester, not sure but you can cook with it or eat it straight off the tree . That is what I did a couple of days ago . It’s such an amazing thing to do , pick an apple off your own tree, it’s just like magic .
I am, without doubt, slow to mature. Now I’m a little older , I listen to what people say instead of rabbiting on . I also listen to silence …it’s unreal what you hear when your quiet .
My name, being Cherry, people always asked me if my middle name was Apple . I hated them teasing me . Now Gwyneth Paltrow has a little girl called Apple . Oh dear I guess I’m rabbiting lol
Cherry – I love the shift in perspective you shared here as it relates to names, that’s a great example 🙂
I’m late to bud but once I do watch–I shoot for that light. : )
Thank you for this beautiful post, Laurie. Each week I wait patiently for Tuesdays with Laurie–each week I’m rewarded by an inspiring message.
Leanne – You just single-handedly made me walk taller with your lovely compliment, thank you 🙂
Love this, Laurie. I think I am a continual bloomer – learning as I go. But I am much more in tune with the choices I make/aware of them the older I get, so I think I have become more deliberate in my choices. LIke the others, I connected with your sentiment that “whatever we are not changing, we are choosing.” Yes…
Melissa – I love that you’ve “become more deliberate in your choices.” My hat is off to YOU!
I am the dynamic type. I think I have a touch of the Hyperactivity disorder, but it’s served me well over the years to help me achieve what I pursued.
Fatimasaysell – You’re a gal who knows how to leverage and use her resources wisely 🙂
Thank you. 😉
Wat a great idea and ready to harvest soon
WiseJourney – We’ve been eating them right off the tree so we know they’re ready. Now all we need to do is quit goofing off and get down to business 😀
I think my growth has come in spurts over the years. Each time the winds grow fierce, I grow in strength.
Carol – I love your observation, “Each time the winds grow fierce, I grow in strength.” yes, Yes, YES!
i am slow to the point of stunted.
Kimberly – I invite you to check out this page on my website: http://www.holessence.com/theexperience.html
I will. Thank you.
Laurie, you know the gardener in me loves this post, transformation and alchemy…Ah Ha! Magic! On giving it some thought, I find that I am like the Encore Azalea in regards to blooming, sporadic and intermittent. Just enough to surprise myself and to keep me from giving up hope.
Sandi – I just Googled images of an Encore Azalea. yes, Yes, YES you’re as gorgeous as that flower from the inside out. And hearty, to boot!
Love this photo project you took on–as transformation may also be like the old process of photo development, as well–the image emerging from the bath of experience–who you really are, there all along, only emerging gradually from the darkness.
Me, I’m a late bloomer–definitely a late bloomer!
Hugs from Ecuador,
Kathy – I love the photo bath analogy you used! High-five from one late bloomer to another 😀
These photos are absolutely gorgeous. We have one apple tree in our backyard and I love springtime when the air is fragrant. As for me, I’m an early bloomer with some things, a late with others! Thanks for the lovely memories, Laurie!
Julie – Covering both ends of the spectrum spells out “well balanced” to me. Thank you for your visit today 🙂
I, too, look forward to our Tuesdays time!
I find myself with different bloom times…when it comes to loving my future Grandchildren, (one wonderful 4 yr old has won my heart, one son just needs to be smart enough to marry her Mom) and a Grandson expected around Christmas time–I am as fast as a gnat can multiply. When it comes to making changes in my life, some come as quick as a radish in the field (28 day maturity) and some never happen. When it comes to my curiosity, I will take as long as a redwood tree grows. There is a season to everything, right??!!
Thanks for the thoughts and take care!
Cindy – I love the analogies you wove through the tapestry of your reply. And CONGRATULATIONS on those grandchildren – Whoohoo!
I think I am an early bloomer, Laurie — I get up before the sun even thinks about showing its face . . . I already know that we can save the earth, animals, and humans if we base our economies on service not on products . . . and I walk around anticipating the next best thing in life.
Wish I could get up that early Barbara, and be fully awake! As for the rest of your comment…you rock Barbara 🙂
Ann — my body seems to think that 4:30 a.m. is prime time. What would be nice is if my life accommodated naps in the middle of the afternoon, too.
Barbara – “…base our economies on service not on products…” amen, Amen, AMEN!
Late and by twists and turns,wishing It had been an early awakening,could have spared some of the suffering.However,better late than never and probably it is all the turmoil that caused the blooming to be that much brighter.
Roamer – I think you’re onto something there. It may well, indeed, have been the turmoil that caused the blooming to be that much brighter 🙂
The pictures across several months are wonderful. I keep wanting to start a similar project to show how the slow daily changes in nature result in big changes across time but haven’t figured out exactly what I want to photograph yet.
Sheryl – Will you use the photographs you’re thinking about taking on your current blog, or will you create a different blog for that purpose?
Laurie, your apples are making my mouth water. 🙂 Seriously, the blooms and the fruit are beautiful. And such a lovely way to exemplify that change is nothing to be afraid of. Thanks…
Muz4now – I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, I had fun taking them over the spring and summer. And you’re absolutely right, change is nothing to be afraid of 🙂
Interesting timing of our blog posts! I’ll take that as a sign.
Have been so busy making applesauce/drying apples between thunderstorms – hard to get on computer right now 🙂
I learned early on to raise my hand and do my report or speech first – then you got the opportunity usually to rewrite if you got it wrong. We were supposed to write a poem using the Casey at the BAT meter, but I could not understand how to do that, so I just used a poem from my poetry book and it was wrong but good words and the class enjoyed it anyway, I was corrected and then listened to the other members read their poems, went home and wrote one to the correct rhythm and passed the assignment. It was all in the risk – then no one had to know about my dyscalcula – an often great defensive move 🙂
Patricia – Oh my gosh, I just LOVE the remembrance that you shared!! Way to go — my hat is off to YOU!
Oh Laurie, you always have just the perfect post. I love to share everything you share with us.
I have always been a late bloomer, but lately I’m Blooming Baby! My personal transformation is on rocket speed. I sometimes feel like I need a safety belt so I don’t fall off the ride! I have finally been practicing appreciation and only attracting people with similar energy. People are dropping like flies from my life and it has helped lighten my load of negativity. Its the ride of a lifetime! Yahoo.
🙂 Karin Conway
Organic Growth Coach
Karin – yes, Yes, YES! I love what you’ve shared here. Way to gooooooooo!
Alchemy was the search for a method of transforming lead into gold. No such chemical method exists. Lead can be transformed into gold, but it is a nuclear process, and requires vast amounts of energy, and is the sort of thing that sometimes happens in exploding stars, and appears not to happen in any significant quantity anywhere else in the universe.
Fortunately there is very little about us as humans that is as fixed in nature as the properties of lead and gold and the other elements known to us.
We seem to be far more flexible, and able to create an infinite array of properties within ourselves.
Life seems to be a potentially infinite journey, and we seem able to create a potentially infinite series of personal transformations.
So it seems to me that the journey of life is potentially capable of creating an unlimited series of personal transformations.
Seems to have been going on for me as long as I have lived, and I fully expect the process to continue for as long as I live (be that one year, 20, a thousand or a billion years).
Ted – I love your observation:
“We seem to be far more flexible, and able to create an infinite array of properties within ourselves.”
I, too, hope we’re both around for a l-o-n-g creating an unlimited series of personal transformations 🙂
Such a beautiful metaphor with the apple tree in blossom Laurie, and a resonating post all the way through! Sorry to get here late. I’d say I’m a late bloomer as far as transformation, but at least in one way it makes various revelations more appreciable.
Sam – yes, Yes, YES – from the vantage point of time having past (life having been lived) we do have the opportunity for more appreciation 🙂
I need to put “whatever we are not changing, we are choosing” up on my wall. Great stuff. And I’m finding a late bloomer, which is kind of a grand blessing… 🙂
Michael – Thank you 🙂
Er… finding myself to be a late bloomer, that is.
Beautiful post- thank you! I think of myself as a late bloomer, but I am realizing that everything is coming to me at the right time, and my evolution is actually right on schedule. I’m working on accepting with gratitude where I am in my creative growth, not wishing to be further along or wishing to have started younger. Just be here now and enjoy the process. Thanks for all your wisdom to light the path!
Iwooten – “…my evolution is actually right on schedule.” Now THAT’S a healthy observation — body, mind, and spirit 🙂
Bert0001 – Thank you 🙂
The journey of the apple and the lovely interplay of words made it such a heartwarming post .Thank you for sharing Laurie.
Thumbelina81 — I’m glad this post resonated with you, thank you for letting me know 🙂