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In a meadow of green coneflowers and Indian paintbrush on the South Fork of the Walla Walla River Trail, this specimen rose above the others in the morning’s sunshine. 

Pirouetting like a ballerina in a spotlight, the coneflower seemed to be in motion. Its skirt-like leaf was tossed high left in mid-twirl, while the stalk conveyed strength and grace.

In a meadow of green coneflowers and Indian paintbrush on the South Fork of the Walla Walla River Trail, this specimen rose above the others in the morning’s sunshine. A breeze occasionally slipped up the canyon, but for the moment, the coneflower in the photos was unruffled by any wind and yet for all appearances was moving fluidly.

Dancers require both strength and flexibility. Ballerinas in particular need to have the capacity to hold poses and yet move with an elegant suppleness. Flexibility is a desirable musculature trait for dancers but is also a quality essential for anyone who is gathering information and deciding for themselves if they need to bend their old conceptions to a new or different reality.

The pirouette of the coneflower with its illusion of motion is like a person captured at the precise moment that having trained themselves to gather accurate data honestly, acknowledge to themselves that there is movement from one thought or conviction to another.

One might not be ready to publicly admit to a shift in one’s thinking, but internally — in the stillness of one’s being — know that something flexed and changed.

The lovely thing about cultivating flexibility is that when you realize that you have made an error, flexibility gives you the permission to gather information again and shift — dancing from one idea to another.

In the swirl of current world events, be attentive to your thoughts, train yourself to hold poses of truth and wisdom; be willing to move when the music changes.

Kathy McConnell is a local writer, photographer and former educator who writes the blog boxoftales.com. Her manuscript, “Mapping the Topography of Grief — A Memoir,” was shortlisted by Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association in 2017. She currently is working on a memoir about living in American houses. Online see kathymcconnell.net.

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