Getting to Know a Coneflower

Coneflowers, Sideview

Coneflowers, Sideview © 2011 Bo Mackison

Real intimacy is a sacred experience. It never . . . belong[s] to the voyeuristic eye of a neon culture. Real intimacy is of the soul, and the soul is reserved. ~ John O’Donohue

When was the last time you sprawled in the thick grass, got eye to eye with a patch of flowers, introduced yourself and gave the flowers time enough to introduce themselves. They don’t do their introductions with words, of course. They will introduce themselves to you through your senses.

What do you see? Petals. Stems. Leaves. What else?

What do you smell? Does the petals’ scent differ from that of the stems or the leaves?

Compare the touch of the petals to the fibers on the stems. What did you feel? Touch the cones in the flowers’ centers. Did you feel smooth, soft, sticky, hairy, pointy, prickly?

If you don’t live near a Midwestern prairie — and I know most of you do not — virtually explore the coneflowers. Use the photograph. Use your imagination. Then go out and find a flower in your back yard or park or a planter. What can you discover about one of your neighborhood flowers?


Bo Mackison is a photographer and the owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. She is studying and intimately meeting many a soul-flower this summer!

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. Beautiful, Bo. I love all of this – your stunning photograph, John’s words, and your invitation to become more intimate with what is real in our world. I gladly accept.
    wishing you well and with many thanks –

  2. I’ve been away, my friend. Away from the blogging world, exploring the spiritual world and going inside myself of late. Rather selfish of me but the trip within has been necessary. While I was away you have outdone yourself! This photograph is sheer genius, and I adore your coneflower imagery as well. The Wabi Sabi – sigh. The seedhead – sigh. You always inspire me, always rejuvenate me, always give us all a happy place within to rest and “be.” We have much to catch up on, you and I. XO

  3. I really enjoy this cone flowers series

  4. I like this unusual view of coneflowers!

  5. As ususal a great perspective.

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