An Alphabet in Four Parts – II

Red Yucca Flower

Red Yucca Flower

Continuing the second annual edition of my year-end musings:

G is for GARDENS.

GARDENS. I seem to be naturally attracted to gardens of all kinds. Greenhouse gardens. Perennial gardens. Tropical gardens. Rain gardens. Wild gardens. And desert gardens, too. The photograph of the red yucca in bloom was taken at Tohona Chul Park in Tucson, Arizona, an amazing desert urban garden. I’ve spent many, many hours wandering in gardens, sitting in gardens, working in gardens, and now taking photographs in gardens. I’ve taken so many photographs in all these gardens, when I take Seeded Earth Photography on the road, my art show booth almost looks like a garden.


HOURGLASS. Time passes, second by second, just like the sand passes in an hourglass. How many of those seconds, minutes, hours, have I missed by not being mindful, by not paying attention to the present? Not saying that there isn’t time to goof off, to day dream about the future, to watch the wind blowing in tall grasses or a single leaf flutter to the ground. But I want to keep reminding myself that it does no good to live in the past, to question what might have been, to second guess decisions already made. So – living in the present, noticing the details? Good. Dreaming and planning about the future? Good, too. But…I want to keep the past in the past. Learn from the mistakes I’ve made, but not live in the past with regret.

I is for INKLING.

INKLING. I love inklings, just the briefest grasp of an idea. I love taking that bit and turning it over and over in my mind, letting it gather more and more bits until it’s a full fledged idea. I love ideas. I love mulling over ideas. Sometimes I love the idea more than the implementation of the idea. Sometimes that’s OK. Sometimes I need a push to take my ideas to fruition, to make them real. Seeded Earth was an inkling of an idea for a long time. It came to life as a blog, a place to store a photograph a day for a year. And after that year, I wanted to do more than post photographs on my beloved blog. I wanted to make them real (in print) and I wanted to share them with others. Sometimes those inklings really do turn into reality!

J is for JUICY.

JUICY. I like juicy living. Full of flavors and textures and bright colors, and a certain amount of messiness, but with such glorious rewards.

K is for KINDNESS.

KINDNESS. Being kind to others, yes, but more than that. Also practicing the art of kindness towards myself.

L is for LONG SHOT.

LONG SHOT. Sometimes it’s wise to go for the sure thing. Dribble the ball across mid-court, closer and closer to the hoop. Get your defensive lines all in place. Move in close, focus on the goal, and then make the shot. That’s usually a good plan. But sometimes, you have to go for the long shot, the Hail Mary shot at the end of the buzzer. Once in awhile, it just feels right to take a long shot. Might not make it. But then again, you just might.


MINUTE RICE. Actually, I don’t eat the stuff–prefer brown rice or long grain white rice or wild rice. But I do have a sock filled with it. I use it for a makeshift tripod when my regular tripod is too heavy to carry while hiking for miles, or too clunky to get past museum guards. These are the kinds of projects I love – the whole DIY craze where you can give one object a completely new use. I use a string and a metal washer for a tripod when desperate. Wax paper or copy paper or aluminum foil achieves different lighting properties. I’ve been accused of using my camera bag as a lunch bag on more than one occasion. Not true. I never put my sandwich in my camera bag!

Next post – Nest through Treasure Map

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Such a wonderful and creative exercise…and I love the images you’ve chosen to accompany. Wishing you and yours all the best in this coming new year. Health..happiness..and lots of creativity!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thanks, Marcie. It really makes me think about the past year and the progress I hope to see in the New Year. Thanks for the New Year wishes.

  2. Oh, I really like your oh so creative alphabet! Beautiful red Yucca flower.

    Happy New Year! May your New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day be blessed, safe, and filled with joy.

  3. I love Inklings. Ideas are precious and wonderful like children. It’s great to see them grow.

  4. What a pretty photo of the Yucca flower. One of my favorite plants!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Isn’t it a gorgeous plant. It’s easy to think desert plants are all green and covered with thorns, well, that’s true too, but they do have lovely flowers.

  5. This is so great! It’s like a secret book of magic words, Bo! I came in a bit late, but I’m so glad I did–I’d be too impatient to wait for more. Now I can greedily scarf up two posts at a time!

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